Decomposed Whale Found in Tidal Zone of East Atlantic Beach

humpback whale
People work around the carcass of a dead whale in Lido Beach, N.Y., Jan. 31, 2023. On Tuesday, another dead whale washed to shore in Atlantic Beach.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Decomposed Whale Found in Tidal Zone of East Atlantic Beach

A decomposed whale carcass washed up near the shoreline in East Atlantic Beach Tuesday morning, according to the Town of Hempstead and Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.

Atlantic Beach residents spotted the deceased humpback whale early Tuesday morning and alerted authorities. Though the carcass was mangled, biologists from the Atlantic Marine Conservation determined that the whale was about 28 feet long.

“This morning, the Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways was alerted by nearby residents about the severely decomposed remnants of a humpback whale stranded in the tidal zone at East Atlantic Beach,” Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said in a statement. 

“Following environmental protocols, Town biologists and crews worked promptly with [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation], [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] Fisheries, and the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society to examine the carcass, collect data, and safely bury the whale,” Clavin added.

Officials from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society noted that the whale was missing most of its skin and intern organs, “leaving very few options for examination [and] data collection.” The team of scientists and crew from the Town of Hempstead buried the whale on the beach.

The Northwest Atlantic Ocean has been experiencing an unusually high number of humpback whale deaths since 2016, according to the NOAA Fisheries.

In May, a humpback whale washed ashore at Robert Moses State Park and at Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton. Earlier this month, a whale was found in Shinecock Bay near Hampton Bays. 

There have been close to a dozen dead whales that environmentalists have responded to in New York and New Jersey in 2023 alone. Researchers are still investigating the rise in whale casualties of the past six years.