Mass whale stranding operation wraps up at Macquarie Heads
Access roads to Ocean Beach and the boat ramp at Macquarie Heads near Strahan have been reopened to the public following the mass pilot whale stranding near Strahan on the west coast of Tasmania.
Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) staff with the assistance of local salmon companies have now removed and disposed of all but two whale carcasses from Ocean Beach near Strahan yesterday afternoon (Monday 26 September).
Mass stranding Macquarie Heads operation
The majority of the carcasses were towed out to sea and released in deep open water where they are expected to initially drift south in the Southern Ocean. Some will very likely come ashore but it is hoped these are mostly south of Cape Sorell. Others will decompose in the Southern Ocean.
Incident Controller Nic Deka said two of the rescued pilot whales that were tagged with satellite trackers preliminary data suggests they are now well south of Tasmania.
“This is positive news as this indicates that many of the rescued whales have been successfully released back into the Southern Ocean,” Mr Deka said.
“Of the 230 stranded whales reported on Wednesday 21 September, we successfully moved to deep water and released 44.
“Upon completion of the incident, I would like to again say a huge thank you to NRE Tas staff, the salmon companies, volunteers, West Coast Council and the Strahan community for their assistance and support during this incident.
Carcases may wash up on local beaches over the next few weeks from currents and tidal movements and NRE will be undertaking surveillance flights to monitor this. The community should report any sightings to the Whale Hotline on 0427 WHALES.