The Department of Conservation wants people to urgently report any Orca sightings in Northland so it can find out if one of them is entangled in rope from a cray pot.

An adult male orca who was entangled in late December last year is believed to be around the Whangarei coast and DoC would like all sightings of orca reported so it can respond.

''We would like to establish if he is still entangled and if so, will implement our disentanglement plan,'' A DoC spokeswoman said.

She said DoC is the lead agency for whale disentanglement.


The adult male orca, which first became entangled in a crayfish pot line, near Tutukaka Harbour on December 23 last year, was finally cut free five days later, on the afternoon of December 27, but video later emerged showing it may have still had some line wrapped multiple times around his pectoral fins.

Rescue attempts were made at Taiharuru, Whangārei Harbour and Auckland Harbour and the release was conducted at Waiheke Island by Department of Conservation staff and the Orca Research Trust.

The orca travelled more than 270km, during which he carried the wire mesh crayfish pot the whole time. It was wrapped around his right pectoral fin.

Any sightings of orca in the Northland area can be reported to 0800 DOC HOT.