• Sunday, May 22, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:54 pm

Around 270 whales stranded on sandbar off Australia's Tasmania

  • Published at 03:38 pm September 21st, 2020
Australia Whales
Whales stranded on a sandbar in Macquarie Harbour on the rugged west coast of Tasmania on September 21, 2020 AFP

Police are on site and marine experts are being deployed to assess the situation

Marine biologists were planning the rescue of around 270 whales stranded on a sandbar off the remote west coast of the Australian island of Tasmania on Monday.

Government scientists said it appeared that at least 25 of the animals, believed to be pilot whales, had already died. Pilot whales are a species of oceanic dolphin that grows 3 ft long and can weigh up to 3 tonnes.

"While stranding’s are not uncommon in Tasmania, and while stranding’s of this scale aren't (unprecedented), we certainly haven't had one for at least 10 years," Nic Deka, a regional manager for Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, said.

Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment said the whales were stranded in three groups in shallow water at Macquarie Heads, some 200km northwest of the state capital Hobart.

Rescuers with specialised equipment arrived at the site on Monday afternoon to assess the situation. They were expected to regroup on the shore as it grew dark to discuss a rescue strategy.

Officials usually respond to reports of stranding’s of dolphins and whales in Tasmania once every two or three weeks, on average.

Government scientists had first thought the mass stranding involved about 70 whales when it was viewed from the air, but a closer inspection revealed the larger number.

The last mass stranding off the coast of Tasmania was in 2009, when around 200 whales beached themselves. In 2018, more than 100 pilot whales died after beaching themselves off the coast of New Zealand.

It is not known why whales, which travel together in pods, sometimes beach themselves but they are known to follow a leader, as well as gather around an injured or distressed whale.

"Their social groups and strong bonding between the groups causes often all of them to strand," Olaf Meynecke, a whale researcher and Project Manager of whales and climate at Griffith University, told Reuters.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail