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Humpback whale washed ashore at Long Beach had lesions in the stomach, necropsy finds

The whale's body had been first spotted by the U.S. Coast Guard 1.5 miles off Jones Beach on Monday.
UPDATED MAR 17, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The necropsy on the dead humpback whale that washed ashore in Long Beach at Nassau has been completed by the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, a spokesperson for the group told MEA World Wide in a statement. "The animal had a full stomach but also had some lesions in the stomach and large intestines," Rachel Bosworth from AMCS said. Cause of death has not been determined yet but samples have been taken from the body and will be sent to a pathologist for further inspection, she added. "Results may take several months to come back," she said. 

In many cases, the cause of death is impossible to determine said Jennifer Goebel, a spokesperson for the NOAA. 

The whale's body had been first spotted by the US Coast Guard 1.5 miles off Jones Beach on Monday. The 30-foot humpback was then brought in in a joint effort by AMCS and the NOAA Fisheries, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Town of Hempstead, and City of Long Beach. The whale was found with a dorsal fin and was a sub-adult male. 

The NOAA had declared an unusual mortality event effect along the Atlantic coast in 2016 which is still prevalent even after two years of the announcement, she said. The event refers to a large number of unexplained marine mammals deaths at a location, and there is an urgent need to do something about it. The agency recorded 88 humpback whale strandings from January 2016 to February 2019, which is more than twice the number of similar incidents between 2013-2016. 

"There is an unusual mortality event in effect along the Atlantic coast, as there has been an increase in humpback whale strandings since 2016. There is no way of predicting whether this trend will continue," she said. Humpback whales are protected in the US under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.