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Beachgoers warned after heartbreaking find

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The circumstances surrounding the tragedy are still not known. Picture: Facebook / MCP

Environmental officials are investigating after more than 30 pilot whales were discovered dead on a remote Tasmanian beach.

On Tuesday, 34 whale carcasses were found on Bryans Beach, near the southern end of Tassie’s Freycinet Peninsula.

Marine Conservation Program (MCP) researchers were on site on Wednesday collecting samples and measurements to try to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

So far, it remains a mystery.

“Following initial vet assessment of the pilot whales there were no significant findings or signs of injury,” an MCP spokesperson said in a statement.

“We don’t know why the whales stranded and it is often not possible to determine.”

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The circumstances surrounding the tragedy are not yet known. Picture: Facebook, MCP

Due to the beach’s remote location, about 105km northeast of Hobart, officials have not been able to remove the carcasses from the sand.

Authorities have cautioned beachgoers to remain vigilant in the area, particularly in the water, as whale carcasses can attract sharks.

“Members of the public are reminded to keep their distance from the carcasses,” the MCP spokesperson said.

“It is an offence to interfere, take or be in possession of parts of a dead whale.”

Nature guide and photographer Chris Theobald first discovered the stranded pod while travelling in the area by boat.

It’s believed the group included calves.

“While out training on the boat I guide on we came across a confronting scene …” he wrote on Instagram.

“There was no time to save any.”

Pilot whale standings are not uncommon in Tasmania.

In September last year, more than 200 pilot whales became stranded near Macquarie Harbour, the same location where about 470 whales were beached in 2020.

Any sightings of free-swimming or stranded whales and dolphins in Tasmania should be reported to 0427 WHALES (0427 942 537).