On behalf of the Department of Conservation (DOC), I would like to thank all those who came together in an effort to refloat the pilot whales which stranded at Colville Bay earlier this month.
The stranding, which took place over two days and nights between October 17 and 19, demonstrated the great community spirit of the northern Coromandel, with local community members first on the scene in an immediate response which largely contributed to the successful re-floating of the pod that evening.
I would particularly like to thank Hauraki iwi, Dave Hamon, members of the Colville community and the area’s rural fire brigade, Colville Sailing Academy, MEG, Project Jonah, WRC Harbour Master, Massey University, James Drainage and the Mahamudra Centre for Universal Unity for their collective efforts during the stranding.
Marine mammal strandings are difficult and emotional events. People have a strong connection to these animals, and whales in particular. Pilot whales are notorious for multiple strandings, and with both tide and time against our efforts it was a remarkable achievement to save the majority of this pod.
I am continually humbled by the passion, commitment and dedication shown by those who support these efforts. The events that unfolded over course of the stranding became a superb demonstration of co-operation, and a commitment to conservation of wildlife.
Thank you all.
Coromandel District Operations Manager
Department of Conservation
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