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Auckland’s own local whale variety

The Bryde’s whale, which is a member of the same group as the humpback and blue whales, is seen more frequently in the waters around Auckland, New Zealand. Studies show there are many living in the oceans around the north of the North Island, and particularly in the Hauraki Gulf. A British researcher Nicky Wiseman has spent the past four years studying Bryde’s whales for her PhD thesis and has identified 67 adult whales in the gulf but says there are more she has not been able to identify. The managing director of Explore NZ the company which runs the dolphin and whale safaris says ‘One of the biggest battles is convincing locals the whales are there. There is a misconception that you have to go to Kaikoura in the South Island to see whales, we see them just as often.’ They can grow up to 15m, and weigh up to 20 tonnes. They are identified by three prominent longitudinal ridges on the rostrum - the head behind the blowhole - which are evident when the whale surfaces.

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