Dead Humpback Whale Washes Ashore Beach in New York
There's been quite an uptick in humpback whale sightings over the past few years off the coast of New York. Sadly, the increased activity also means there's a greater chance some of these massive animals could meet their demise, often through human intervention. That was the case Friday, as the National Parks Service says a 40 foot dead humpback whale was spotted off the coast of Staten Island.
Gothamist reports that there have been thirty one humpback deaths over the past five years, which makes us second in the United States only to Massachusetts. Boat strikes are a considerable danger to these giant ocean mammals, who's migration patterns have been bringing them closer and closer to shore in recent years. According to the data at NOAA, this is the first humpback death on the coast of New York this year.
Deposing of dead whale carcasses is a grim and often difficult procedure. Some can be simply buried on the beach, but many end up being towed out to open water, or hauled with very heavy machinery to nearby landfills for disposal. Many times, local officials have to turn to help from the Coast Guard or a local harbormaster.
Humpbacks are know to migrate in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean this time of year, but it isn't every day you see them so close to shore. But they come can pay a visit sometimes. In December, a humpback whale was sighted in the Hudson River, according to NBC. That marked the first time in four years one had been seen in the Hudson, according to marine scientists. Experts say whales can and will swim up the Hudson if they're following their meal, which is usually fish, plankton, or krill. After all, the average weight of an adult humpback is over 66.000 pounds, so they've got quite the huge appetite to take care of. How much? Try about 4,400-5,500 pounds of food per day.
This is the first, and hopefully the last, report of a dead humpback on our coast for 2021.