Dwarf Minke whale on Karioitahi Beach

On Wednesday 22 February, a group of onlookers noticed a whale that had washed up on Karioitahi Beach, about six kilometres south of the surf club.

Police, the Department of Conservation and a member of the local iwi were notified and examined the whale. Photos and its measurements were taken.

The whale was determined to be a Dwarf Minke whale, about seven metres long. The cause of death is unknown.

The last time a Minke whale washed up on the beach was thought to be around 2008.

Southern Minke whales prefer the cold waters close to the Antarctic ice. They rely on fish, squid and krill.

The whale remains were left on Karioitahi beach to decompose naturally.

Senior Ranger Yuin Khai Foong says “DOC and local iwi examined the body of a dwarf minke whale found in a remote location on Karioitahi Beach. The body of the whale is on an isolated stretch of beach where only a handful of people will encounter it. DOC and iwi decided that it was safe to leave the body to break down naturally and be washed away by the sea.”