What is happening in Farewell Spit, South Island, New Zealand

Just read in a Montreal’s french media outlet about the Thursday, 9th, 2017, beaching/stranding of more than 416 pilot whales and the subsequent yesterday’s beaching/stranding of another 200+ whales. :frowning:

I have found this interesting article in the ‘Fairfax Media New Zealand’.

What are we (yes, we the human race) doing to this gorgeous planet??? :?

This is nothing to do with humans. These whale beachings have happened since before humans existed. Nobody really knows why. I remember seeing one (just 6 animals) in E. Lothian 79 years ago. Also, the Orcadians made tools from presumably stranded whale bones 4000+ years ago and the tribes in W Canada even up to 12,000 years ago. I doubt whether they had the means to hunt them.

I needed like button for this post :smiley:

Reply I received from a New Zealander when I asked yesterday:

"Farewell spit is the problem, its a long narrow stretch of sand that is at the northern end of a large bay and the water is very shallow there to the south of that spit. There was big tide…they get 5m tides there I think, and as the tide comes in the whales follow it…and they think they are heading to open water…then the tide drops fast and they get trapped…and their distress calls brings in their mates…

They refloated them…the volunteers…but they get confused by the shallows and re beach."

So Devil’s right, natural event.

There has been a lot on the news here in the UK with videos of the loads of volunteers helping to keep the pilot whales wet and then refloat them when the tide comes in, they also form a human chain in the water to help prevent the whales from coming back in. The BBC had a whale and dolphin expert on explaining that this area of the North Island is problematic for the animals echo location in that there is nothing to reflect the signal sent out and the animals think they can head into open water and end up beached. As an aside these are not really whales but a species of dolphin.


that this area of the North Island
just to be nitpicky, its the top of the south island

and yes its happened in this location before, and it will happen again, its a natural event , nothing can be done to stop it
but people have blamed everything from chemtrails to EMF to sonar testing of oil/gas reserves off the east coast of the south island by a ship (which people have blamed a recent earth quake on…on known (and some unkown ) fault lines

Apologies for getting the geography wrong Brian, it’s a long way away from me #-o

Yes it was refreshing to hear someone over hear explaining that this is a natural phenomenon and not man made… however I do think in some places in some circumstances man might have some impact. It is really refreshing to see the efforts of the locals in NZ making such an effort to try to save these creatures.