Mass stranding of 20 sperm whales was reported on Tasmania’s west coast. Only four whales stuck in shallow water believed to still be alive. Rescuers were making progress in freeing another eight sperm whales stranded on a sand bar in Macquarie Harbour, about four kilometres south of the beach.
With the help of fish farmers and jet boats, authorities managed to free the whales, but getting them to open ocean from the harbour entrance proved difficult. Authorities are urging people to stay clear of the channel between Hells Gate and Table Head. (abc.net.au)
The Department of Primary Industries confirmed 16 stranded whales died on Ocean Beach throughout the day, Herald Sun reported. Marine mammal specialists are on scene, but dangerous conditions on the water have so far prevented them from intervening.
A humpback whale rose out of the water in Sydney Harbour – dwarfing everything around it – before it got its bearings and headed back out to sea yesterday. National Parks and Wildlife has issued a plea for boaties to be careful of the large numbers of baby humpbacks and their mothers swimming unusually close to shore during this year’s southern migration.
Marine experts consider Ocean Beach and Macquarie Harbour to be among Australia’s main hot spots for whale strandings. PWS West Coast parks and reserves manager Chris Arthur said it was not known why so many strandings occurred at the locations.
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