Home' Greymouth Star : January 9th 2016 Contents Saturday Afternoon
Saturday, January 9, 2016 - 7
6 - Saturday, January 9, 2016
Boatmen on Thursday observed a very large
fish apparently stranded (off the Waiho), and
floundering amongst the breakers approaching
cautiously, they managed to get a running noose
round its tail.
Having procured the assistance of several miners,
and aided by the surf, the monster was, with great
exertion, dragged on terra firma, where his struggles
kept his captors at bay for a long time.
It proved to be a whale, measuring fifteen feet in
length, and is, I believe, of the bottle-nose species
(not least I should think so from the shape of its
snout). It was killed by several stabs, and at present
lies on the beach, where it is very probable it will
remain and rot, as I believe the captors have not the
necessary appliances for extracting the oil.
Fish appear to be more plentiful on the West
Coast than is generally supposed. The West Coast
Times says that the Challenge steam tug left the
river on Tuesday evening — during the night
secured ten dozen cod, weighing from two to ten
pounds; six ling, from seventeen to twenty-five
pounds each; and one hapuka or groper, which
we may mention is the first ever captured in West
When the cutter Hope was lying at anchor
off Okarita, before she was blown out to sea, a
monstrous shark came alongside the vessel, and
seizing a porpoise which was hanging over the
bows, made off with the prize.
The length of the monster of the deep was
variously estimated by those on board the Hope,
the least estimate being 24ft feet and the highest
30ft. The appearance of this huge denizen of the
deep is said to have been most terrific, and its
cavernous mouth was thickly studded with sharp
Mr Barff made several attempts to harpoon this
shark, but the iron would not penetrate its thick
skin, but bent as if it had been wire.
The stench of rotting whale
(Letter to editor appealing for action over rotting
whale carcase, Hokitika)
The whale some fifty or sixty tons of decomposing
animal matter, lying bare on the beach, and
operated on by a midsummer sun. Its odour, at
present, is simply a caution to every man, woman,
and child that possesses a nose. One sniff is a full
meal to the veriest glutton, especially when the
wind is favourable. Two sniffs would floor any man,
nose or no nose.
While at anchor we saw at some distance from
the ship several very large fish, I should say from
20 to 30ft long. Some called them blackfish, others
sharks, others something else; one thing I am
perfectly satisfied of they were not whales; they had
enormous fins, which appeared full four feet above
A splendid fish of the groper species turning the
scale of 52lb was caught in the Buller River on
Friday. The fisherman states that it is the first of the
kind he has caught in the Buller.
We learn from the Westport Times that a peculiar
case of fish poisoning occurred recently at the
Messrs Grey and Ross, of the steamer Ino,
were experimenting with some groper fish there,
endeavouring to extract oil from the liver, which
they had boiled. Experimenting still further they
ate a small portion of the tempting looking morsel,
and the result was that within a few hours after the
outer skin on their hands and arms peeled off in
shreds, just as if they had suffered scalding.
Beachcast 45ft whale at Punakaiki.
Live 21ft ‘finback’ whale in breakers, caught and
brought onto beach at Seaview. Patients at the
nearby mental hospital enjoy their trip to look at it.
On the previous trip of the steamer Wallace the
carcase of a large whale, about 80ft long, was passed
off the Seventeen-mile beach, and many were the
conjectures as to the nature of the object while at a
distance, as it rose upon the crest of the waves, and
then disappeared from view in the hollow of the
sea, appearing very much like a vessel bottom up,
with human beings clinging to it, which on closer
inspection proved to be albatrosses.
Yesterday evening a good haul was made form the
rocks on the north side of the south (Greymouth)
tip-head in the shape of a hapuka (or groper) about
He was landed only by the united strength of
three lines, none of the lines being equal to landing
such a leviathan. It appears that of late a good
many lines, the loss of which was put down to
shark or dogfish, was really due to the vivacious and
Mr Churches, of the Empire Hotel, had in his
possession yesterday, a remarkably fine schnapper,
16lb weight, caught from the north (Hokitika)
training wall. The presence of such welcome visitors
will give an additional interest to fishers.
One of the consequences of the harbour works
has been the number of fish attracted to the mouth
of the river, as compared with times anterior to
harbour works. All of the stonework is covered
with (seaweed) and shell fish, and both attract
shoals of fish, large and small. On Friday last Mr
Chesterman hooked a groper over 60lb weight,
which he landed after a good deal of trouble, while
on Saturday one man caught two groper, each being
as large as that caught by Mr Chesterman.
Yesterday, two enormous hapuka — groper is the
popular name — were caught in the Grey River,
one near the signal station and the other off the
south tiphead. One weighed 180lb, caught by Ted
Furness, and the other was a 60lb one caught by
Joe Stanley. It is supposed that they were after the
young herring and whitebait.
Beachcast 38ft sperm whale at Cobden North
The Westport News states that a fish said by those
who found it to be a schnapper was picked up on
the Mokihinui beach. It measured 4ft 6in in length,
and weighed 50lb. The record for a fish of that
species was 35lb.
A dead whale, with an octopus clinging to it, was
passed by the steamer Gertie, 20 miles north of
Westport, on Tuesday night. The Moa sighted the
whale off Mokihinui.
The SS Te Kapu’s trawling operations at The
Steeples, off Cape Foulwind, on Monday resulted
in the netting of some 200 fish, comprising sole,
flounders, cod, turbot, ling, schnapper, flatheads,
skates, and a few small sharks.
Capt Stevens says the waters are thick with slime
and appear a beautiful green by day, while at night
they are like liquid fire.
A large fish about twelve feet long, described as a
black fish, and akin in appearance to Pelorus Jack,
was washed ashore on the Hokitika beach this
morning. The fish is white underneath, with a black
back, and has a propeller-like tail. It has a very
small mouth â€¦ with small tusk-like teeth, on the
lower-jaw only, and a tongue like a bullock’s. There
is a bullet hole through the tail.
The monster is bow being exhibited by its finders,
on payment of a small charge.
(NOTE: the Department of Conservation
believes this may have been a pilot whale)
100ft blue whale at Okarito. It was later
purchased by the Canterbury Museum.
A conger eel, 6ft in length was caught at the Tip
Head, last evening by Mr R Johnston. On being
opened it was found to contain a large schnapper, a
dogfish and a flounder.
A monster groper, weighing 70lbs was caught
off the beach yesterday by Mr Howe, while fishing
opposite Camp Street (Hokitika). It took him half
an hour to land the fish.
Reporters from Ross state that on Saturday large
quantities of fish of every description were washed
up on the beach, near the mouth of the Mikonui
River. Huge quantities were taken by local residents
and cart loads were also taken away for manure,
without noticeably diminishing the quantity.
Recently one of the officers of the Kowhai which
was in Greymouth, was washing a valuable gold
nugget chain and in a moment of forgetfulness
emptied the water and incidentally the chain
into the Grey River. Yesterday a rumour was in
circulation and the said rumour is a grand “fish
tale.” It is this.
While fishing near the tiphead yesterday a youth
landed a groper. Upon opening up the fish he is
said to have found the lost nugget chain reposing in
the groper’s interior. Verily a “fish tale” and there is
no confirmation forthcoming yet.
A century ago, the seas off the West Coast were teeming with monsters of the deep. A gold
watch was found in one fish, giant groper were caught with surprising regularity, and an octopus
was spotted clinging to a whale. The Department of Conservation shared its archive, gleaned
from the West Coast Times in Hokitika and Grey River Argus in Greymouth.
PICTURE: Auckland Weekly News, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland
Libraries, AWNS-19051123-16 -2
Whale at Charleston, 1905.
PICTURE: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19321214-50-2
An 81ft-long whale washed ashore at Awatuna, near Hokitika, December 1932.
PICTURE: Sir George Grey Special Collections,
Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19071024-14-3
A beached whale at Little Wanganui, Karamea,
PICTURE: Canterbury Museum
A blue whale washed ashore at Okarito, 1908.
Links Archive January 8th 2016 January 11th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page