Posted by: The ocean update | November 6, 2015

Dozens of whales slaughtered on Stewart Island (New Zealand)

DOC ranger Phred Dobbins with the whales stranded at Doughboy Bay on Stewart Island. DOC supplied

DOC ranger Phred Dobbins with the whales stranded at Doughboy Bay on Stewart Island. DOC supplied

November 6th, 2015. Dozens of whales have died after they were stranded at Doughboy Bay on Stewart Island this week.

The pod of 29 pilot whales was discovered on Tuesday evening by two trampers.

The pair had tramped into Doughboy Bay hut on the west coast of the island. It was two days before they could raise the alarm through water taxi operator Matt Atkins.

Two DOC staff immediately flew to the bay, where they found the whales stranded the length of the beach at low tide.

Stewart Island ranger Phred Dobbins said eight of the whales were still alive when they arrived, but they had to be euthanised.

“Refloating them was not an option given the length of time they had been stranded in hot, dry conditions,” Dobbins said.

“With the tide well out, we saw little hope of keeping the animals alive until enough rescuers could be flown in to assist.

“Euthanasia is a difficult decision but is made purely for the welfare of the animals involved, to prevent them from prolonged suffering.”

Ed Sibylline : according a New Zealander rescuer, this situation would have never been happened before (there was 10 years ago almost). DOC changed its policy to save money. Everywhere, apart in some few countries, we are facing the same : SAVE MONEY !!! A bullet is cheaper than a trained rescuer from DOC ! But what’s the price of biodiversity ? When the authorities will think long term period ???

The whales would be left to decompose naturally on the beach because of the remoteness of the site, he said.

Visitors should stay well clear of the carcases and avoid swimming in the area.

“We’re extremely thankful to the trampers who reported this incident,” Dobbins said.

Conservation emergencies should be reported to the DOC hotline on 0800 362 468.

Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, it is illegal to take any part of a marine mammal, dead or alive, without a permit. The offence carries a maximum penalty of six months’ jail or a fine of $250,000.

Ed Sibylline : and kill them officially is allowed ?

Doughboy Bay on Stewart Island. DOC supplied

Doughboy Bay on Stewart Island. DOC supplied

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