More stranded whales found in Tasmania's Macquarie Harbour

An additional 200 whales have been discovered stranded down on Tasmania's West Coast.

The pod was discovered this morning deep in Macquarie Harbour by rescuers, who say it appears most of the whales are already dead.

Parks and Wildlife Regional Manager Nic Deka said the whales had been discovered in darker waters via a GPS system.

"That may have made it more difficult," he said. "The water is very dark tannin in colour ... It's a place that's not obvious for a stranding."

He said the team would be expanding its search in light of the discovery.

"We're certainly going to do a more extensive search," he said. "As we speak we've got a boat heading over on the water. Our thoughts are that we won't find any more."

He said the team would continue to focus on the whales still alive.


Tuesday's efforts to rescue what was then known as 270 pilot whales was declared "reasonably successful" with more than 25 guided out to sea but one-third believed to have died.

The number of people involved was scaled up on Tuesday with more than 40 staff from DPIPWE and about 25 volunteers involved across Macquarie Harbour and Ocean Beach.

Parks and Wildlife Regional Manager Nic Deka said the use of an infrared camera on Wednesday morning would provide more of an idea of how many whales had perished.

"The whales that we have been rescuing are those closest to the deeper water of the channel and that is where most of the effort has been focused," he said.

"They are being escorted out with the use of a boat and a sling where they were released."

At Ocean Beach, 25 whales have died while two have been triaged.

Mr Deka said the process to guide the whales out had become more efficient with a preferred method determined.

"We get a sling underneath the whale and that is attached to a boat. We also have crew in the water who help to maneuver the whale off the sand bar and into the deeper water where it achieves a greater level of buoyancy and the boat escorts the whale out to the deep water," he said.

Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Dr Kris Carlyon said there was a risk the whales would restrand.

This story Hundreds more stranded whales found first appeared on The Advocate.