11 August 2021
[FYI request #16103 email]
Tēnā koe Anna
Thank you for your Of icial Information Act request to the Department of Conservation,
received on 16 July 2021 in which you asked for:
A summary of the results of any research conducted by DOC or its affiliated
stakeholders related to any tagging initiatives or other research conducted by DOC to
address the survival and outcomes of whales which are refloated after mass
stranding events in New Zealand.
It is standard practice within the Department to photograph or document physical features of
a whale or dolphin following a refloating attempt. This provides a means to track whether the
animal re-strands or is sighted alive, or dead, later. It is, of course, an imperfect system but
given that strandings can occur anywhere around New Zealand at any time, the approach
offers a pragmatic method to assess the effectiveness of a stranding response.
To date there has not been any tagging initiatives to investigate the survival of stranded
whales. The Department is working with Massey University on several projects related to
animal welfare at whale strandings via the Cetacean Ecology Research Group. I understand
you have been in contact with the appropriate people at Massey University over this work.
If you wish to discuss this with the Department, please contact Ian Angus, Manager Marine
Species at [email address].
Nāku noa, nā
Acting Director Aquatic
Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai
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