About 230 cetaceans, also called pilot dolphins, have been found stranded on a beach on the west coast of Tasmania, the day after another stranding in the region of a dozen sperm whales. On the spot, the emergency services are activated to rescue the animals which are still alive.
With our correspondent in Sydney, Gregory Plesse
While about half of these stranded cetaceans are still alive, the Tasmanian services of the Department of the Environment are hard at work to put them back in the water as soon as possible despite the difficulties of access to the very isolated sandbar, where these animals are currently trapped .
According to the authorities, marine conservation experts and a team with rescue equipment for cetaceans have been called in to intervene in the area. They will attempt to refloat animals that are capable of surviving and will likely transport the carcasses offshore, to avoid attracting sharks to the area.
No one knows at this time what caused these pilot whales to head for this beach, but a change in the temperature of the water, caused by a weather event, such as La Niña, which affects the Australian east coast, could have disorient these cetaceans. Researchers have also suggested that they may have wandered off after feeding too close to shore.
In any case, this news finds all the more echo in the Australian media thatit is not new. It also comes almost two years to the day after the largest grounding in history in Tasmania. In September 2020, nearly 500 cetaceans ended up stranded in the same place. And despite significant resources deployed at the time, only a hundred had been saved and returned to sea.