14 Sep 2011

Vigilance urged after ship strike kills whale

1:14 pm on 14 September 2011

An Auckland University marine scientist is urging ships to slow down in the Hauraki Gulf, following the death of an endangered whale.

On Friday, a 12-metre Bryde's whale was found floating in the Hauraki Gulf and marine scientist Rochelle Constantine says an examination clearly showed it died after being hit by a ship, because it had broken ribs and extensive bruising along its body.

Dr Constantine says research reveals 40 Bryde's whales have been found dead in the Hauraki Gulf in the past 16 years - 14 of them after being hit by a vessel.

She says all vessels using the busy gulf pose a threat to whales, so it is important to watch out for them.