August 22, 2014
Muriwhenua whale harvest
Far North iwi are dealing with two whales that have washed up around Te Oneroa a Tohe-Ninety Mile Beach in recent days.
The discovery of a sperm whale washed up at Waimoho just south of Hukatere last week resulted in an impromptu wananga in tikanga and whale flensing from Hori Parata of Ngati Wai.
Patau Tepania from Te Rarawa says that experience is helping the iwi deal with a baleen whale that was caught on a reef by Tauroa point south of Ahipara.
He says surf and rising tides have moved the whale onto the beach, which will make it easier to manage the cultural and environmental impacts.
"What we’re hoping is that Te Runanga o Te Rarawa will actually purchase some stuff for the crew that is going to be flensing it, if it is going to be flensed, and we're trying to get hold of DoC to bury it and take care of all the gut cavities. The bones will be taken back in and may be buried until they can be used," he says.
Mr Tepania says it’s too early to say what caused the death of the whales, but samples will be sent off for analysis, including the ear drums.
There’s concern that seismic testing as part of offshore oil and gas exploration could affect marine mammals.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd