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Nearly 400 grindfish have died in Australia's shallows

Listen to this article A real tragedy has occurred off the coast of Tasmania, where nearly 400 grindfish have already died after becoming stranded in the shallows. The cause of the stranding of such a large group is unknown, and the operation to rescue the live specimens and bring them out into open water is
Published: September 23, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 21:07
Nearly 400 grindfish have died in Australia’s shallows
Listen to this article

A real tragedy has occurred off the coast of Tasmania, where nearly 400 grindfish have already died after becoming stranded in the shallows. The cause of the stranding of such a large group is unknown, and the operation to rescue the live specimens and bring them out into open water is still ongoing at the moment.

The first large group of dead mammals, which numbered about 270 individuals, was spotted on Monday. Then on Wednesday, a second group of about 200 grindwalas was spotted from a helicopter and was trapped in the shallows about six miles from the first.

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Nic Deka, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service manager, confirmed on Wednesday afternoon local time that all animals in the second group had died, bringing the total number of dead grindwales to 380.

Kris Carlyon, a wildlife biologist with the Marine Conservation Programme, said it was the largest such event in Australia’s history.

We will continue to work to rescue as many stranded animals as possible. We will continue working as long as there are live Grindwalls,” said Deka

From what has been established, fifty animals were rescued on Tuesday and taken out into the open waters of the Indian Ocean.

Although the cause of the animals being found and stranded is unknown, Vanessa Pirotta, a marine scientist, said it may have been due to navigational errors by the individuals leading the group, as well as the very strong social system found in these mammals.

This is the first time since 2009 that more than 50 whales have stranded together off the coast of Tasmania. Previously, 320 grindbacks were stranded off the coast in Western Australia in 1996, and 600 individuals of the same species found themselves on the shores of New Zealand in 2017.

Photo: Adam Li, NOAA/NMFS/SWFSC, NOAA Photo Library, cc-by-2.0

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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