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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

16 February 2005

Beaked whale stranding Busselton, WA

Attempts are continuing to save a Gray's beaked whale that stranded itself on Western Australia's Busselton coast.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said the latest stranding again highlighted the need to understand the reasons behind whale strandings.

"We are waiting for the results of a post-mortem from the last beaked whale stranding on Rottnest less than a month ago the twentieth stranding of the species in WA over the past two decades," Senator Campbell said.

"We are still learning about this unique species, which grows to around 5.6 metres and is usually found in the temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere.

"The reasons behind whale and dolphin strandings remain unknown.

"Aristotle pondered the mystery behind why these mammals strand themselves as far back as 350BC.

"The Australian Government is very concerned about this issue and we are working hard to save as many of these majestic animals of the deep as we can and to find out why it happens."

The Australian Government is developing a set of protocols for collection and storage of information and creating a central, national database as well as building an Australasian Marine Mammals Strandings Network.

"The Conservation and Land Management Authority staff should be congratulated for their efforts in trying to save this whale, Senator Campbell said.

"Their work on the ground is invaluable while the Government continues to investigate the reasons behind whale and dolphin strandings."

Media contact:
Senator Campbell's office: Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia