Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rare Whales And Green Pals In Strife

+ A rare beaked whale calf that stranded and then refloated at Omaui (in Southland) last weekend after an all-night community effort to save it, was shot Sunday afternoon.
It had beached again and was deemed to be suffering too much to survive a second rescue attempt.
Department of Conservation (DOC) Southland area manager Andy Roberts said it would have been cruel to wait until the next high tide to try to refloat the whale calf again. He said the calf appeared to have been attacked by a shark and might have come close to shore to find safety - a second whale nearly beached on Saturday afternoon. Roberts speculated the second whale might have been the calf's mother.
The 8m whale calf was believed to be a beaked whale Arnoux sub-species, which was relatively rare. It had not been determined if it was male or female because it was difficult to do so without an internal autopsy.
Unlike the recent sperm whale stranding at Paraparaumu, the carcass will be left on the beach where it stranded the second time. It is in an inaccessible place, and nature would be able to take its course.
 + And yesterday afternoon, a second beaked whale was euthanised by DOC after beaching itself at Sandy Point in Southland.It's highly likely the whale was from the same family pod.
+ ...meanwhile the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior III has cancelled its visit to Southland amid difficulties over negotiations to use the Lyttelton dry-dock for maintenance.
GP cancelled next week's visit to Stewart Island and Bluff, because of maintenance it needs before visiting the Sub-Antarctic Islands. The group has said the preferred port for the work would be Lyttelton, but it has not been confirmed the ship can use the dry dock there.
Negotiations over using the dry dock have been complicated by GP's blockade of the port in March 2008. Activists on Rainbow Warrior II prevented the ship Hellenic Sea, carrying 60,000 tonnes of coal, from leaving port on March 25, 2008.
The Port of Lyttelton confirmed it was in talks with GP over using the port, but would not comment further.

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