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Have your say on Freycinet


Public comment is now invited on the Draft Freycinet Peninsula Master Plan.More

Ben Lomond recovery works update


Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) will oversee the recovery works at Ben Lomond after a recent fire destroyed essential infrastructure.More

Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation


Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.More

West Coast whale rescue update


Marine mammal specialists are continuing to work with fish farm personnel to free four whales still trapped in Macquarie Harbour near Strahan.

One sperm whale was refloated and assisted through Hells Gates at the entrance of the harbour early this afternoon and the rescue effort is now concentrated on three other sperm whales still stranded on sand at Fraser Flats and one minke whale on a mudbank off Elizabeth Island.

Incident controller Chris Arthur, from the Parks and Wildlife Service, said the rescue team of 30 was doing a great job using techniques that had been perfected over many years.

“A specially-developed net attached to two boats is designed to slip under a whale enabling it to be hauled from immediate danger,” Mr Arthur said.

“This method can be used for large animals and is very effective.

“It proves the value of learning from past stranding situations and maintaining a knowledge base and science to assist animals in distress.”

Mr Arthur said the narrow entrance to Macquarie Harbour posed the greatest difficulty in the rescue operation.

“Pushing a large whale against sea surging through the 25 metre passage is like pushing a cork into a bottle,” he said.

“However we managed it today as we did back on 2007 in another rescue operation.”

Mr Arthur praised the support of workers from the Tassal and Petuna fish farms. He said their expertise and use of the fish farm vessels were vital to the rescue effort.

The rescue team will continue their efforts tomorrow.

The last survivor of 22 sperm whales stranded on Ocean Beach outside Hells Gates died today. The area will remain under surveillance.