New Zealand’s Bryde’s (pronounced “BROO-dus”) whales can be found between the North and East capes and in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park — one of only three places in the world where they live year-round!
We are so lucky to share our big blue backyard with such incredible creatures. But many Kiwis don’t even know they exist, or what trouble they are in.
Sadly, our Bryde’s whales are in serious trouble because their home in the Gulf is no longer safe.
With only around 135 left, they could disappear from our waters forever. Unless we act now.
Scientists estimate there are only 135 left. And there's no wonder why.
Below the Gulf’s sparkling blue surface is an ecosystem on the brink of collapse.
We’ve taken so many of their fish that Bryde's whales are now eating mostly zooplankton, which contain lots of dangerous microplastics.
Our cities and farms dump huge amounts of sediment and sewage into waterways, suffocating the seabed and polluting their waters.
Our ships kill them and drown out their calls.
But you can help save our forgotten whales.
Urgent action is needed to help restore the Bryde's whales' home, regenerate fish stocks and protect them from threats.
Overfishing has taken so many of their fish that Bryde's are now eating mostly zooplankton, which contain lots of dangerous microplastics.
Bryde's whales and other marine taonga can become entangled in or ingest plastic, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning.
At least 30% of the Gulf needs to be placed in effective marine protection areas to give habitats, fish stocks and other sea life a chance to recover and thrive.
Land activities— such as forestry, farming, mining, draining of wetlands and urban development—dump huge amounts of sediment into the Gulf. This suffocates the seabed and severely impacts estuaries, which are nurseries for juvenile fish and resting places for migratory birds.
Key fish stocks have declined by over 50% - leaving little for Bryde's whales to eat.
Kina barrens - areas where there is an unusual amount of kina (sea urchins), and an absence of kelp - are a common site in the Hauraki Gulf. These areas are caused by overfishing of key predators of kina, like kōura (crayfish) and tāmure (snapper).
Bryde's whales and other marine taonga are getting entangled in or ingesting plastic, causing suffocation, starvation, and drowning.
Fish, whales and other marine species are eating huge sums of harmful microplastics, which are working their way up through the foodchain and into the kaimoana that we eat.
Bottom trawling is having a devastating impact on marine life, and releasing carbon stored in the seafloor.
Land activities, such as forestry, farming, mining, draining of wetlands and urban development are dumping huge amounts of sediment into the Gulf. This suffocates the seabed and severely impacts estuaries, which are nurseries for juvenile fish and resting places for migratory birds.
As climate change worsens, higher temperatures, sea level rise, ocean acidification and decreased resilience of ecosystems to withstand change are adversely affecting marine life.
After many years of inaction, in June 2021, the Government finally released its strategy to restore the health of the Gulf. But it is too slow and doesn't go far enough.
With only an estimated 135 Bryde's whales left in Aotearoa New Zealand, time is running out to make a difference.
It’s possible to save our whales and restore the Hauraki Gulf, but we must act now.
Donate now and your generous gift will help:
Support local freshwater and coastal restoration projects in areas that flow into the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park. This will reduce sedimentation, improve water quality, provide vital habitat for fish nurseries and improve fish stocks.
Fund action-based regeneration projects that enable mana whenua and other communities to protect and rebuild Waiheke Island’s marine health.
Develop a marine mammal sightings app to capture data on marine mammals in the Hauraki Gulf. This will enable long-term studies to better understand species abundance, movement and threats, and map this information, to increase marine mammal knowledge and protection.
Our moana/ocean is facing more threats than ever. It's time we step up to protect our big blue backyard for Bryde's whales and the many more marine life that call our waters home.
We can’t do it alone. Please make an urgent donation today to help protect our Bryde's whales.
Don’t be fooled by their name. It may just look like it could be pronounced ‘bride’, but did you know that Bryde’s whale is actually pronounced BROO-dus whale?
Bryde's whales have baleen plates (comb-like structures) that are equipped with coarse bristles in their mouths. These plates, made of keratin (the same as human hair and finger nails,) act like a filter which collects food from the water it ingests during feeding.
A Bryde’s whale can grow up to 15 metres long—longer than most buses!
They are pretty agile considering their size, and are known to move unpredictably and change direction quickly.
Bryde's whales like to stay close to the surface and spend most of their time hanging out in the top 10 metres of the water column.
The Hauraki Gulf is known as a nursery area for Bryde's whales, where they birth and raise their calves.
The Hauraki Gulf Marine Park is one of only three places in the world where Bryde's whales live year-round.