On Friday, August 16, 2019, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society “AMSEAS” received a report of a deceased humpback whale that beached at Laurelton Boulevard in Long Beach. The whale had been sighted floating near the SS Oregon wreck a week ago and is very decomposed. AMSEAS worked with Town of Hempstead, City of Long Beach, NOAA Fisheries, US Coast Guard, and NYS DEC to formulate a response plan.
On Saturday, August 17, the team conducted the necropsy examination on the 29.8-foot male humpback whale this morning in Long Beach. Due to the very advanced state of decomposition, a cause of death could not be determined. Samples were taken to be sent to a pathologist. The remains were buried on the beach. AMSEAS was grateful to have had the support of Town of Hempstead, City of Long Beach, NOAA Fisheries, US Coast Guard, and NYS DEC in these efforts.
This is the fifth humpback whale AMSEAS of human interaction: three were deceased, one of which was found with evidence of vessel strike. Causes of death could not be determined for the other two whales. The two live responses include an entangled whale that had freed itself and a live whale that had evidence of vessel strike.
There is an ongoing unusual mortality event (UME) in effect for humpback whales along the Atlantic coast. More information can be found here: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-life-distress/2016-2019-humpback-whale-unusual-mortality-event-along-atlantic-coast
The public is encouraged to report injured and deceased marine mammals and sea turtles to the NYS Stranding Hotline by calling 631.369.9829. Sightings of marine wildlife are also helpful and can be shared with AMSEAS by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.