| 3 Dec 2006 @ 09:56, by Alana Tobin|
I found this today, and it is interesting because this beaching of whales occured the day prior to my receiving the message from Tanewa...11th Nov...when told in five days there would be the earth event (Tsunami Potential) which was tied to the Kuril Japan Earthquake while at dinner that evening in Devonport. See Post: Profound Earth Movement at this time
The sea was active then for sure...and I believe that activity is tied to what led the whales to beach...that day.
Our Website: Heartstory
Rescued whales seen swimming away
10 November 2006
A pod of 40 pilot whales which stranded near Marsden Point oil refinery early today was last seen swimming strongly toward the Hen and Chickens Islands off Northland's east coast.
Local boaties and coastguard members were keeping an eye on the group's progress at sea while a large team of volunteers and Department of Conservation (DOC) staff were standing by on the beach.
"Although the whales appear to be well out to sea you can't predict what will ultimately happen," said DOC incident controller Adrian Walker. "All we can do is wish the pod well on its journey."
A decision on how to manage another 37 dead whales will be made in conjunction with Ngati Wai, in accordance with a protocol between Ngati Wai and DOC.
A single beached pilot whale at Reotahi, further up Whangarei Harbour, is being cared for by DOC staff in the hope it will also be able to swim off.
There was concern it might call the other whales back to shore, Mr Walker said. DOC was notified of the stranded whales about 8am today but volunteers from Marsden Point had already been working for some time to rescue them.
Mr Walker said DOC was extremely grateful for the help it was receiving from numerous volunteers, especially in the cold, windy conditions.
"People are very keen to help and we have to make sure there's appropriate care for them, as well as the animals themselves." Workers at the refinery spotted the stranded whales and started trying to refloat them.
Ben Lummis, ranger in charge of biodiversity and marine mammals, says DOC had to work hard to try not to encourage the whales back to the area. At 11.30am, high tide, the 38 dead whales were dragged from the water so they were no longer visible to the other whales.
Mr Lummis says he does not know why the pilot whales stranded. "It's the biggest question scientists have been trying to figure out for years," he says. "They strand for what ever reason and literally die of stress," he says.
Bream Bay College student Katy Mills says she saw stingray in the water and thought that might have been why the whales came in to shore.
Katy was one of hundreds of students and residents who came to the beach to have a look at the whales and try to help.
"It's a waste. I figure most of them died before we could get to them," she says. Long-term Ruakaka resident Roger Hall says it is not the first time whales have stranded at that spot.
About a year ago another whale stranded at the same spot but managed to get free with the incoming tide. "It was kind of like wiggling and thrashing around until eventually it got enough water under it to be able to swim.
"It fanged it out to sea full speed, then did a huge victory leap in the air, as if to say 'yippee, I'm free'," he says. The stranding was the first of its size in Northland for several years.
Late last year and early in January there were two large strandings of pilot whales at Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, in less than a fortnight. Nearly 50 long-finned pilot whales died in one stranding, while another 21 died at Puponga beach, at the base of the spit.
The Puponga stranding involved a pod of more than 120, and a massive rescue effort by hundreds of volunteers and DOC staff managed to refloat 100. The biggest recorded mass stranding on the New Zealand coast involved 1000 pilot whales on the Chatham Islands in 1918, and the largest in recent years saw 450 of the same species beached on Great Barrier Island in 1985. Rescuers successfully refloated 324 of those mammals.
- with Whangarei Leader
Here is another article:
40 Whales in New Zealand Saved, 37 Die
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - November 10, 2006 -
Oil refinery workers helped rescue 40 beached pilot whales in northern New Zealand Friday - but another 37 of the whale pod died on the sandy beach, a Department of Conservation spokeswoman said.
By early afternoon the rescued whales were less than a mile off the shore and "starting to swim strongly" out to sea, spokeswoman Sue Campbell told The Associated Press from the North Island city of Whangarei, near the stranding site.
Boats were patrolling near the whales to encourage them to continue heading out to sea rather than return to Ruakaka beach.
About 70 volunteers and 15 department staff were standing by in case the whales turn back toward shore or begin to swim into nearby Whangarei Harbor, she said.
Workers from the nearby Marsden Point oil refinery, together with local volunteers, were already helping to refloat the whales when the department was advised of the stranding, she said.
The beached pod marked the first mass stranding of the season. New Zealand has several mass whale strandings each summer.
The biggest recorded mass stranding on the New Zealand coast involved 1,000 pilot whales on the Chatham Islands in 1918, and the largest in recent years saw 450 of the same species beached on Great Barrier Island in 1985. Rescuers successfully refloated 324 of those mammals.
Whale experts have been unable to explain why the mammals apparently swim into dangerously shallow waters.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)