Sperm whale fluke
Image: Andrew Walmsley | ©

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


A sperm whale has died after becoming stranded at Mahia Peninsula in Hawke’s Bay this morning.

Date:  18 November 2021

The Department of Conservation (DOC) received reports of the whale stranding at Mahia early this morning, with a local ranger responding shortly afterwards. The individual was identified as a 10–12 metre sperm whale.

The whale passed naturally in the early afternoon.

It is not uncommon for whales/dolphins to strand or wash up dead on NZ beaches, mostly during the summer and occasionally in winter. Identifying the exact cause of a stranding can be difficult as there are numerous potential causes.

DOC is working with local iwi on site for preparation and burial of the whale.


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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