Investigations are continuing after 34 pilot whales were found dead on a beach in the state’s east coast, in what has been described as “confronting” scenes.
They were discovered washed up on sands at Bryans Beach, at the southern end of the Freycinet Peninsula, on Tuesday.
Marine experts from the state’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment have been collecting samples to determine what caused the deaths.
“Following initial vet assessment of the pilot whales there were no significant findings or signs of injury,” a department spokesperson said.
“We don’t know why the whales stranded and it is often not possible to determine.”
Due to the remote location, authorities are unable to remove the carcasses.
The public is being urged to keep their distance from the carcasses. It is an offence to interfere, take or be in possession of parts of a dead whale.
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“The carcasses may also attract sharks so swimmers and other water users are advised to avoid the immediate area,” the spokesperson said.
Local guide Chris Theobald was among the first people to discover the carcasses earlier this week.
“Confronting scenes today on our Peninsula,” he wrote on Facebook.
Pilot whale strandings are not uncommon in Tasmania.
And in 2020, about 470 pilot whales became stranded at Macquarie Harbour.