There has been no sign of the humpback whale in trouble in the Bay of Islands after a second day of searching by boats and a helicopter.
The whale has craypot ropes tangled around its mouth which will be making it impossible for it to feed.
The whale was spotted on Thursday in trouble off Deepwater Cove, but a specialist Department of Conservation team was unable to cut it free because of the rough conditions.
The search has been stopped for today and a decision will be made tomorrow about whether to continue.
DOC Bay of Islands manager Rolien Elliot yesterday said it was hard to say how long the whale could last without help and the whale would not have eaten for a couple of days and was drifting rather than moving itself, not far below the surface.