AMCS Performs Necropsy on Stranded Humpback Whale on Fire Island

On Tuesday, August 28, 2018, Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) was alerted by US Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound of a deceased humpback whale floating offshore by Ocean Beach, Fire Island National Seashore (FINS). Around 6 p.m. in the evening, FINS called AMCS to share the whale had beached between Kismet and the Robert Moses Lighthouse. The team formulated a response which took place the following day, Wednesday, August 29.


AMCS arrived onsite in the morning to assess the stranding, and returned later again in the afternoon to work with local authorities to remove the animal from the surf and conduct a stranding investigation. The animal was severely decomposed and the carcass was not intact. Due to the level of decomposition, a necropsy examination was limited. AMCS was able to determine the animal was a male, may have been approximately 34 feet in length, and found lacerations consistent with vessel strike. Samples were taken to send to a pathologist to help confirm a cause of death. Those results can several months. Remains were buried on the beach.

AMCS is grateful for the support received from Fire Island National Seashore, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, Robert Moses State Park Maintenance, the Ocean Beach Police and community.

As a nonprofit organization, we truly appreciate all of the organizations involved that were instrumental in these efforts. We ask that the public help by reporting strandings to the NYS Stranding Hotline by calling 631.369.9829.