Around 145 pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a remote beach on Stewart Island in New Zeeland. A hiker discovered the animals strewn along the bay on Stewart Island last week. The scientists have an imprecise understanding of that strange phenomenon of mass whale stranding when a large number of marine mammals suddenly beach themselves-often their final acts. Authorities said half of the whales have already died while other half was put down as it would have been difficult to save them. In different incidents, 12 pygmy whales and a sperm whale also beached in New Zealand over the weekend. A sperm whale which beached nearby Doubtless Bay died overnight on Saturday, while the body of a dead female pygmy sperm whale was found at Ohiwa on the west coast of the North Island.
The exact reason behind whales and dolphins strand is not fully known by the authorities yet. It is predicted that there may be many factors can include like sickness and extreme weather are the possible reasons guessed by the local people. There may be many reasons when a whale finds itself on a beach: the illness that leaves them at the mercy of ocean currents and strong waves, a sudden dart into shallow water to escape a predator-prey.
In the meantime, deaths have focused new attention on whether the whale’s range is shifting northward, putting more animals in dangerous water. Some scientists speculating that the whales are looking for new sources of food, perhaps driven north by warming seas. It is completely possible that right whales have always used that habitat. Since the population has increased, many deaths have been averted by moving shipping lanes away from the key habitats and deploying systems that warn ships when the slow-moving animals are nearby.
It Also Happened In Alaska Earlier This Year
Whales are dying at an alarmingly high rate around Alaska and they still don’t know the reason. Since May 30, 30 large whale shave died in the western Gulf of Alaska. Most of the animals were found floating, sever decomposed and not retrievable for further examination. Algal blooms may actually be a leading suspect given that an extensive bloom that began earlier this year has slowly spread along the coast, stretching all the way from Central California to Washington and may be higher. And the interesting thing is that these organisms are not harmless, they produce a toxin called domoic acid that could pose a hazard to animals and becomes threatening for their life.
Other Updates Issued By Their Local Authorities
According to the official statement of Department of Conservation spokesman said ” Sadly, the likelihood of being able to successfully re-float the remaining whales was extremely low” The remote location, lack of nearby personnel and the whales deteriorating condition at the most humane thing to do was painless killing. It is always a heartbreaking decision to make.
The Department of Conservation said in a further statement that whale stranding is not unusual in New Zeeland and that there are about 85 incidents a year, that is quite shocking. In most of the cases, although it is just a single animal that is beached, not a whole pod. It is not fully known why whales or dolphins strand and scientist are trying to find out the reasons behind this incident. Possible reasons might be the sickness, navigation errors and falling tides or being chased by a predator. The investigation is still going on and it is expected that the concerned authorities will submit their report soon.
There are some hopes that the remaining eight can still be rescued and enough efforts are underway by local marine mammal charity project Jonah. The group told to local media that it planned to re-float the whales on next week and has asked for volunteers to help. Without a known reason, there is not a lot that scientist can do to reduce further losses, but an independent team is currently being assembled to work with those in the Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events group. By reviewing data collected so far and examining any other possible reasons, hopefully, a plan of action can be put in place that will ensure the safety of these whales.