Whale Stranding and High Winds

Date: 1/2/2005

Scientists predict increased whale strandings in and around the South Pacific over summer. Over 115 pilot whales and bottle-nosed dolphins died over two days in two strandings on different sides of Tasmania. In New Zealand, 55 pilot whales died on Opoutere beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula. A zoologist, Mark Hindell, said the high winds are bringing colder, more nutrient rich waters, which attract more fish, drawing other deep ocean dwellers such as pilot whales closer than normal to our shores in search of prey. This is likely as the predominant westerlies over the Southern Ocean increases in strength every 10 years, these are known as zonal westerly winds.

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