Why Over 380 Whales Died of Mass Stranding?

Around 380 whales have died in a mass stranding in southern Australia on September 23, 2020. The entire pod of 460 long whales got stuck in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania Island, Australia. It is the largest mass stranding recorded in Australia and in the world. The whales have been found stranded over an area of 10 kilometres. The causes of mass stranding is unknown even to scientists. However, Such Mass Stranding of whales is a natural in Australia and New Zealand. Mass stranding is also common in North Sea.

Mass Stranding

It is a natural phenomenon in which Whales move towards the shore when they are sick, in their old age,  due to bad weather, navigation errors and sometimes for hunting seals in the shore. Majority of the mass stranding occur when their echolocation does not work. Echolocation is used by them for navigation.

Reasons for mass stranding

Possible reasons of mass stranding could be:

  1. Climate and Weather change.
  2. Aquatic species become poisonous.
  3. Changing Earth’s magnetic field because of which whales  lose their sense of direction.
  4. Natural diseases and sickness.
  5. Old age.
  6. For hunting the seals.
  7. When attacked by sharks.

How they are disposed?

The dead whales are often moved away from the shipping lanes and back to the sea where they are allowed to decompose naturally. In case whales are half dead, the large whales might take weeks to die. They might require a dose of potassium chloride to the heart or explosives. While, smaller whales are usually shot with a firearm.