Subject: Info: Pilot Whale stranding, NZ III"

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 18 Jan 1995 11:47:50

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Date: Wed, 18 Jan 1995 11:45:39 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Info: Pilot Whale stranding, NZ III"
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Subj:	PLANE CONTINUES WHALE WATCH
 
Date:         Wed, 18 Jan 1995 13:58:48 +1300
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         Terry Hardie <terry@bytes.gen.nz>
Subject:      PLANE CONTINUES WHALE WATCH
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18-Jan-95 11:51 am Regular  National
 
PLANE CONTINUES WHALE WATCH
 
 
   Nelson, Jan 18 - A spotter plane was searching for whale pods in
Golden Bay this morning after an early morning flight revealed no
sign of the long-fin pilot whales which had been getting stranded in
the area since Thursday.
   Conservation Department spokeswoman Marieke Hilhorst said pilot
Wayne Pomeroy was going back up at 9.30am with three Christchurch
Whalewatch Group members to search the coastline.
   She said Mr Pomeroy did not see any sign of whales during his
6.30am flight but choppy seas had limited visibility.
   Doc staff and volunteers spent several hours yesterday afternoon
preventing about 70 whales from stranding themselves along Farewell
Spit.
   Ms Hilhorst said that at one point whales' tails were hitting the
sand and even the rescue boats were nearly grounded.
   ``If the boats hadn't been there, we definitely would have had a
stranding.''
   The near-miss occurred about three-quarters of the way along the
spit in a highly inaccessible location which would have caused a
nightmare rescue operation, she said.
   Originally, a pod of 50 was seen yesterday morning and this was
joined during the day by a further 20 whales.
   The first pod of whales, numbering between 100 and 120, entered
Golden Bay on Thursday night and was followed by a second pod on
Friday morning.
   Since then, there had been one stranding on Sunday when six
whales beached themselves at Pakawau and a near-stranding on Monday
when 30 whales became grounded at the base of the spit.
 
 
NZPA NNM km