4 Feb 2012

Call for better control of ships after whale deaths

10:51 am on 4 February 2012

Environmentalists are calling for better control of ships coming in to and out of Auckland's Port after a second critically-endangered whale was hit and killed.

An investigation into the death of a 15-metre-long Bryde's whale, found floating near Waiheke Island earlier this week, has found it was struck by a ship.

Another Bryde's whale was killed in similar circumstances in September last year.

The Environmental Defence Society says this particular type of whale is living in the main shipping route into the Port of Auckland and at a shallow depth.

Spokesperson Raewyen Peart says urgent action is needed to save the mammals, such as slowing ships down or altering their course.

"These kind of animals are very long-lived and slow breeding, so when you have this kind of impact it can really affect the population.'

"This is an iconic species - Auckland is incredibly lucky to have our own resident population of whales and we need to look after them."