Humpback Whale Washes Up On Beach 117th Street

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By Anna Spivak

Photo by Anna SpivakPhoto by Anna SpivakLocal residents and Parks Enforcement Officers crowded the shoreline at Beach 117th Street this morning as a 25 to 30-foot long humpback whale was found washed up on the beach at around 7 a.m.

According to Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) spokesperson Rachel Bosworth, the whale was deceased when it washed up and was first spotted floating nine miles offshore yesterday evening, Monday, April 3, by the United States Coast Guard.

“The call came in to us at about 8:30 a.m.,” a Parks Enforcement Officer told The Wave at the scene.

Bosworth says that AMCS has been in communication with New York City Sanitation and the Office of Emergency Management to “determine a plan to assess the whale and perform a necropsy on site,” which entails dissecting the approximately 25-ton whale to determine a cause of death.

“AMCS Necropsy Program Coordinator Kimberly Durham is en route to Rockaway Beach to meet with officials to formulate a plan and determine the next steps in response,” Bosworth told The Wave. “Because of high tide at 3 p.m., they may not be able to access the whale, but, they will work on a plan of action which may not take place until tomorrow. Until the team is able to get on the site, they will not have any information as to a potential cause of death. When they do arrive on site, they will take initial measurements, photo documentation, and collect samples for genetic material.”    

Bosworth stressed that the public should maintain a distance of 150 feet from the whale at all times, as these animals are federally protected, and, with the whale in the surf, it’s dangerous to get closer.

AMCS says if you spot a live or deceased stranded animal, you should call the NY Stranding Hotline at 631-369-9829. Photos and videos are helpful as well and can be sent to info@amseas.org. This can help AMCS to identify animals. Residents should provide as much detail as possible, including the location.

“Public support is crucial, so any information is greatly appreciated,” Bosworth said.

Photo by Anna SpivakPhoto by Anna Spivak

Photo by Anna SpivakPhoto by Anna Spivak

2017-03-31 / Front Page

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Very sad. I use to see these

Very sad. I use to see these and so many dolphins when I was in the Coast Guard. They would actually follow our Cutter in the open seas. All I can say it was always a beautiful site and we always enjoyed their company. Thanks Anna for the story and also the photo's.
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