March 9th, 2016 (Imran Ali). Three rare Gray’s beaked whales discovered dead on Ruakaka Beach this morning will be buried at a sacred site just off the beach.
The whales stranded at high tide, possibly just before dawn, but marine mammal experts were unsure as to why they they swam close to shore as they are usually deep sea dwellers.
Orca expert Ingrid Visser, Whale Rescue’s technical adviser Steve Whitehouse and Department of Conservation marine ranger Marie Jordan travelled to the site, about 2km south of the Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving Club, to determine what type of whales they were and to make arrangements for their removal.
Local iwi have given their permission for Dr Visser to perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
Ed Sibylline : apparently, the necropsy has been performed by a Massey University researcher, a biologist, not a vet ! In the case of an anthropogenic cause suspected, it means no way to prove it. The gas sampling protocol has not been followed and ‘no apparent damage to inner ear and internal organs” is not suficient. A recall on the consequences of underwater acoustic shockwaves (insufficient by the details but understandable, at least) :
In the same time :
What happens when you collapse an underwater bubble (cf. dissolved gas in blood) with a soundwave ?
Add your voice to join a global movement of people standing up for the future of our oceans : link
Update 03/14/2016 : Hai Yang Shi You 718 (call sign 3EXP9) is undertaking seismic survey operations in the area bounded by the coordinates given in paragraph 5.2 below until 17 May 2016 (see document AVURNAV NZ 04.03.2016 (if someone could send us the map with all the area prospected/stranding site -> contact).
The university was not asked by the Department of Conservation to conduct a necropsy. So, very simple… Out of sight, out of mind ! (TY Maryann 😉 )