In the north of the South Island, 49 gravel has been dumped on the shores of the Fairwell Boom, the Ministry of Nature Protection said.
By the afternoon, nine floors had died, but more than 60 people continued their efforts to save the others and get them back into the water during the high tide.
“Marine mammal doctors will assist in the effort to bring the floor back into the water and take care of it ashore, providing it with sufficient coolness and humidity until it returns to the water,” a ministry spokeswoman said.
The Fairwell Arrow is a 26-kilometer-long sandy peninsula that forms the northern part of the Golden Bay.
The floor has been thrown ashore at least ten times in the last 15 years. The last such case was in February 2017, when almost 700 gravel was thrown ashore. 250 of them died.
Scientists have no single explanation for why so much gravel is lost on this beach. According to one theory, the fact that the waters near the boom are shallow disturbs the orientation of the floor.
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