A dead whale measuring about 7metres has been found off the coast of Papamoa Beach.
The whale, believed to be a sperm whale, that was spotted about 500metres off the coast of Papamoa Beach Road near Stella Place around 4pm on Monday has now washed ashore.
A dead whale on the beach near Stella Place carpark, Papamoa. Photos: Luke Balvert.
Police were called to the beach after they received reports of a capsized yacht.
Papamoa Surf Lifeguards Matt Strange, 19, and Hamish Smith, 18, went out in an IRB after spotting the whale from shore.
“There was a small black patch of skin and all of the rest was white,” says Matt.
He said conditions were rough which made the whale hard to find.
They managed to get within 50 metres of the whale when they began to smell it.
“It has been rotting for a while.”
Department of Conservation Tauranga Duty Officer Jeff Milham says they are responding to the whale and it depends on when the whale makes land as to what action will be taken.
“The first step is to keep the public away, then we will be notifying the local iwi to see what their desires are with it.
“Then depending we may do something with it tonight, or wait until tomorrow morning.”
Jeff says callers have reported the whale is a sperm whale, but he is unsure how big it is.
He says DOC first got reports of the whale off the coast at the weekend.
“We have been getting calls today as to where it is floating – which has all been off Papamoa.”
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