Rescue Pilot Whales From Pod Stranding Massacres

Target: Sussan Ley, Australia’s Minister for the Environment

Goal: Support initiatives to curb mass stranding events that kill hundreds of pilot whales.

Tasmania’s Hell’s Gate became a literal living hell for a pod of over 400 pilot whales. Distress calls filled Macquarie Harbour after the long-finned mammals stranded themselves on beaches and sandbanks. While rescuers saved dozens of the pilot whales, tragically 380-plus ultimately lost their lives. The incident turned into the worst stranding casualty event in Australian history. Just a few weeks later, the country of Sri Lanka witnessed its own mass stranding, with 120 pilot whales ultimately being rescued.

Pilot whales, who are more closely related to dolphins than whales, have long been the unfortunate victims of such events. While scientists have studied and theorized about the phenomenon, no clear consensus has emerged as to why these strandings occur. Some believe the pilot whales’ mass migration patterns, especially in unfamiliar and rough waters, put them at higher risk. Others blame human activities like seismic blasting. With two major events in such a short time span, governments should be committed to finding answers before the next tragedy unfolds.

Sign the petition below to urge Australian leaders to make a greater investment in researching and developing action plans for mass stranding of marine mammals.


Dear Ms. Ley,

With the recent Macquarie Harbour stranding that claimed the lives of 380-plus pilot whales, Tasmania surpassed the New Zealand tragedy of decades ago. The efforts of the Marine Conservation Program in rescuing survivors should not go unnoticed. In fact, such efforts should be fully funded and expanded. Further, a more committed government investment in research that can at last identify and perhaps remedy the root causes of these harrowing events would go a long way in preventing the next tragedy.

Please strongly consider making these investments for the welfare of these majestic animals and for the marine ecosystems they call home.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Brodie Weeding


One Comment

  1. Gloria Navan says:

    This was heart wrenching as the world watched these gentle creatures struggle.
    I am truly grateful for those people who tried to help.

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