Beachgoers asked to keep eye out for stranded whales in Whangārei

Source: 1News

Beaches north and south of Whangārei Harbour are on alert today for any signs of stranded whales.

Last night, Project Jonah was notified of a small pod of pilot whales swimming close to shore off Marsden Point in Whangārei.

Department of Conservation staff were on site monitoring the whales yesterday, and today are on the water checking inaccessible beaches. A plane has also been deployed to search for the pod.

Local medics have also been put on standby as a precaution.

A Project Jonah spokesperson said the four whales spotted yesterday are of real concern because they tend to swim in pods of up to 100.

If one whale gets stranded then it’s the nature of pilot whales to help the whale. Therefore, many other whales are at risk of being stranded.

Local beachgoers are urged to keep an eye on surrounding beaches today and report any sightings to either DOC on 0800 362 468 or Project Jonah on 0800 494 253.

The spokesperson said that at this time of year it's common to hear about more marine life incidents as people are at the beach and actively reporting to hotlines.