TODAY |

Huge manta ray washes up on remote Northland beach

A huge manta ray has washed up on a beach in Northland this afternoon.

A large manta ray which washed up on the beach at Rarawa Beach in Northland. Source: Manta Watch NZ

Manta Watch New Zealand said it had received a tip off that the creature was on Rarawa Beach in the Far North.

Manta rays are often seen at the northern tip of New Zealand, especially in warmer conditions when the sea temperature starts to get above 18 degrees.

According to Manta Watch, the oceanic fish have been sighted from North Cape all the way down to the Bay of Plenty, but so far little is known about them.

Research by the organisation is currently focused on confirming whether New Zealand has its own resident populations of manta rays.

The Department of Conservation was aware of the situation.

Giant oceanic manta rays can weigh up to 1.6 tonnes when fully grown, with wing spans of up to 6.7 metres.

Unlike many of their stingray cousins, manta rays do not have a poisonous sting and cannot harm humans.

Manta Watch New Zealand requested that anyone in the area who was able to should email pictures of the ray to mantawatchnewzealand@gmail.com.