Bryde’s whale body found on hull of New Zealand cargo ship

6th Oct 2017

The whale carcass is approximately 12m long (credit:

A cargo ship entering the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand was found to have a dead Bryde's whale draped across it's bow.

The animal, which is estimated to be 12m long, was found on Wednesday evening local time according to reports in the New Zealand Herald.

The port is near an area known to be high risk for ship strikes, with regular deaths of Bryde's whales in the Hauraki Gulf resulting in a voluntary protocol where ships were requested to lower their speed travelling through the area.

However, the reports suggest the ship in question had not travelled through this area, and Department of Conservation officials were investigating further to identify any other factors.

Bryde's whales are closely related to fin whales, which are seen in high numbers in the Bay of Biscay and have the been the subject of ORCA's Ship Strike project in partnership with Brittany Ferries.

Ship strikes represents a serious threat to large cetaceans in busy shipping areas, and ORCA are working to develop a better understanding of the cause to try and help captains and shipping operators to limit the number of deaths caused each year.