Since Monday (21 Sep 2020), hundreds of albacore whales have been spotted off the west coast of Tasmania, Australia. Rescuers managed to save 50 whales late Wednesday, and they are trying to help estimate the remaining 30 whales.
In order to save the survivors of the largest recorded mass whale stranding in Tasmania, rescuers need to take these animals out of Macquarie Harbour, but this is no easy task. Approximately 470 whales have now been found in multiple locations in the harbor on the west coast of Tasmania. About 300 are believed to have died, but the authorities say there are still “a large number” of deaths.
Nic Deka, regional manager for Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service, said: “Even though they are still alive and in the water, they are still hopeful-but they do become more tired over time.” He added that the focus now will also shift to removing hundreds of bodies scattered along the coast. The cleanup plan is still being developed-in the past, the body was buried on the shore or dragged out of the open sea. It is not entirely clear why the whale was stranded. This species is known to be easily stranded.
Australia based artist Eddie Botha @eddiebotha through this work – Being Australian Now express his concern on whales strand themselves, including changes in water temperatures, peculiarities of whales’ echolocation in certain surroundings, and geomagnetic disturbances. The stranding of whales is linked to the weather, and it is assumed that when Antarctic squid and fish-rich Antarctic cold water flows north, whales will get closer to prey. In some cases, predators (such as killer whales) are known to panic other whales and drive them to the shoreline.
Image Credit: @newscomauhq
Courtesy of the artist – Eddie Botha; Being Australian Now, 2019; Indian Ink on mixed media paper; 29 15/16 x 22 1/16 in. (76 x 56 cm.)