Common dolphin pod leaping out of the water, Cook Strait Area
Image: Nadine Gibbs | ©

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Seven common dolphins from a pod of 10 stranded at Waiheke Island’s Whakanewha Bay have been refloated late this afternoon and were seen heading out to sea, DOC says.

Date:  12 August 2022

One juvenile dolphin returned to deeper water just before 4 pm. The animal was monitored by Project Jonah and was seen heading back out into the Hauraki Gulf.

DOC’s Auckland Inner Islands Operations Manager Emma Kearney says efforts to refloat the other dolphins and shepherd them out to sea continued after 4 pm.

“As of 4.40 pm, the remaining dolphins had been successfully refloated, and had left the bay and were last seen heading out to deeper water,” she says.

One adult dolphin and one calf died at the scene earlier in the day and were to be taken to Massey University for necropsy.

DOC has had staff at the scene since midday, working alongside Project Jonah, Ngati Paoa and members of the Waiheke community an effort to make the dolphins comfortable with a view to refloating them if possible.

Massey University marine mammal specialist Karen Stockin has also been at the scene providing advice and assistance.

“We would like to thank Ngāti Paoa, Project Jonah and the local community for their contributions to the rescue,” Emma Kearney says.

This is the final update on the rescue effort for today.

The site of the stranding will be checked tomorrow morning in case the animals restrand.


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