Subject: Case Study-Stranded Whale

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Mon, 24 Aug 1994 13:00:38

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Subject: Case Study-Stranded Whale
From:	SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 24-AUG-1994 01:53:09.80
Subj:	Rorqual in River
Date:         Tue, 23 Aug 1994 21:46:35 EDT
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Sender:       Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Comments:     Warning -- original Sender: tag was rbaird@SOL.UVIC.CA
From:         Samantha Fulton <>
Subject:      Rorqual in River
X-To:         Marmam <>
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
The attached message is from Eric Claussen of the National Parks and
Wildlife Service in New South Wales, Australia. He has asked me to place it
on Marmam, and I will be happy to forward replies to him.
-- Samantha Fulton
P.S. Please ignore a subsequent copy of this message sent by Bill Fulton.
     (It was submitted earlier but has been delayed by network problems.)
Message from Eric Claussen reads as follows.
22-Aug-94 19:23
The Situation:
There is a rorqual whale in the Manning River 17km upstream. It is near the
township of Taree which is 300km north of Sydney. On Tuesday 16th August
at 1300 hours the whale was reported as being stranded for one hour on the
sand bar as it entered the river. It was again reported floundering on a sand
bar 1km upstream for a further 20 minutes.
The next report was at 1430 on Wednesday, the whale was 15km upstream
near the entrance to a shallow bay, at a point just upstream from a bridge
construction site where pile drivers are in use. Over the next four days it
has stayed in the general area. It is displaying regular breathing patterns
and does not seem distressed. It is most likely a Minke, Tropical (Brydes) or
or Sei whale. Length of the animal is estimated at 10 to 12 metres.
The whale crossed the sand bar on a rising tide three hours before full. The
sand is difficult for vessels to negotiate.
A house boat has been positioned in the channel as a base and observation
post. The whale has been monitored over the last three days without obvious
Request for Advice:
Any information regarding the management of this situation would be greatly
appreciated. Any accounts of similar experiences, results of various
strategies employed or advice would also be valuable.
At present we have a golden opportunity to undertake detailed observations.
Are there specific characteristics that should be recorded such as breathing
rates, direction of travel, surface conditions or weather? Does anyone
possess tape recordings of rorqual calls that we could use?
Message from Eric Claussen ends.