People wait on a boat ramp for the minke whale's body
Image: Molly Hicks | DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A minke whale has died at Auckland’s Hobsonville Point after being stuck under a jetty at the boat landing area yesterday.

Date:  13 October 2020

The Department of Conservation (DOC) staff responded and were on site until 11pm last night.

DOC Biodiversity Supervisor, Molly Hicks, says: The DOC team responded to a whale stuck under the jetty by a boat landing area immediately; however, the whale had suffered severe injuries from the thrashing motion. The changing tides would also not have helped the whale’s efforts to set itself free causing the animal further distress.”

The whale died at the scene as the team began their rescue efforts. Not long after its death a broadnose seven gill shark approached to feed on the carcass.

The DOC boat was used to remove the whale from the landing and DOC staff, Project Jonah, New Zealand Defence Force, and iwi Te Kawarau a Maki and Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara were on hand to help bring the whale to shore for burial.

Karakia for the whale was led byTe Kawarau a Maki followed by a burial and final blessing from Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara at an undisclosed burial location where the whale was given the name Pareira.

Molly Hicks says: “Whales regularly strand or wash up on beaches throughout NZ, but a whale getting stuck under a jetty is quite a unique and unfortunate incident. We would like to thank all those involved and the members of the public who reported the incident.”

Minke whales are members of the baleen whale family and are the smallest of the "great whales" or rorquals. They are sighted regularly throughout the Hauraki Gulf.

DOC would like to remind the public any whales close to shore in distress should be reported immediately to the Department of Conservation on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).


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