Credits: Isabelle OHara/ Shutter-stock

The Disturbing Whale Beaching! Oh Humans What Have You Done To The Planet!

by | December 3, 2018

The tragic whale beaching incidents in New Zealand doesn’t seem to be stopping. It is not even a week when 145 pilot whales died on Stewart Island and now 51 Pilot whales died the same way this 30th November. Something is seriously wrong with our environment and these whale beaching incidents are a clear indication of that!

whale beaching

Credits: Az8/ Shutter-stock

Whale Beaching Incidents On The Rise

This 30th November another 51 pilot whales died on the Hanson Bay, New Zealand. NBC News reported the following day, via Department of Conservation, about the yet another mass stranding of pilot whales. This shocking news comes after just a week of similar stranding that killed 145 pilot whales. 

As told to NBC News, the staff was the first to witness 90 pilot whales stranded on the island. While 40 managed to re-float themselves, 50 died on Hanson Bay- a part of remote Chatham Islands. One stranded whale that couldn’t be re-float had to euthanized on humanitarian grounds. 

Conservation Department released a video the same day, in which Technical Adviser on marine species, Dr. Dave Lundquist claimed that there is no evidence suggesting that all these strandings are linked. He further explains, “You’re talking about strandings across the entire breadth of New Zealand in a very short period of time, which naturally does cause everyone to reflect on whether those might have something to do with one another.” 

Dr. Lundquist says whale beaching probably happened due to combination of several factors, including but not limited to, navigational errors, attempt to escape predators, injury, and illness etc. 

However, Professor of Marine Conservation (University of Plymouth)- Dr Simon Ingram told BBC that though individual strandings happen due to sickness and injury but when mass strandings happen it could only be a part of the problem. “The trouble is that in a huge number of animals it’s quite likely that some of them are going to be ill anyway,” he adds.

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Another big possibility of these disturbing whale beaching could be the warming waters. As explained by Dr. Karen Stockin (marine animal scientist at Massey University) to BBC, “We’ve had an unusual week, which we haven’t got to the bottom of, and it’s fair to say it’s been an entirely unusual year. I suspect a lot of that has been driven by the warmer sea surface temperatures that we’re seeing at the moment.”

Though Dr Stockin says that the probability of mass whale beaching being connected with global warming cannot be denied, most experts have been requesting not to jump to any conclusion right now. 

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On 26th November too 12 pygmy killer whales got stranded on the shores of a New Zealand island. We hope this disturbing trend stops soon.

** STRANDING UPDATE ***Of the 12 pygmy killer whales which stranded just over 24 hours ago, eight are alive and are…

Posted by Project Jonah New Zealand on Sunday, November 25, 2018
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