Another whale found dead in NY with signs of vessel strike
NEW YORK (AP) — A 25-foot minke whale that washed ashore on a New York City beach had injuries that were consistent with being struck by a vessel, according to a conservation group.
The female whale was found on Rockaway Beach in Queens on Friday morning. Since Dec. 1, it was the fifth large whale found stranded in New York, the 12th found in the New York and New Jersey area and the 23rd found along the East Coast, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
The whale found Friday had several injuries that appear to have occurred before its death, including broken bones and cuts, the group said. While preliminary evidence points to a vessel strike, more analysis is being done, it said. A necropsy was planned.
On Monday, a 35-foot female humpback whale was found dead on Manasquan Beach in New Jersey. That whale also had signs of a vessel strike, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said it has been investigating the deaths of humpback and other whales along the East Coast for the past several years.
Last month, agency officials held a briefing for the media to address concerns about whale deaths and said they have found no evidence of any linked to the offshore wind power industry.
The briefing came two days after a humpback whale washed ashore on Assateague Island, Maryland.
The NOAA said a review of elevated rates of humpback whale deaths since 2016 showed 178 of the animals had washed shore since 2016 between Maine and Florida. Post-mortem examinations were able to be done on about half those whales, and 40% of them showed evidence of “human interaction” such as entanglement with fishing gear or vessel strikes.