Dead whale set to wash ashore on Staten Island

Dead whale set to wash ashore on Staten Island
A 40-foot-long humpback whale was founding floating in the water off the shores of Staten Island early Friday.

Video of the whale was first posted on Citizen shortly after 9 a.m., showing its body just yards away from the shoreline of Great Kills Beach.

Rob DiGiovanni, the founder and chief scientist at the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, says that their nonprofit is currently working with authorities and the New York City Parks Department to figure out how to get the whale out of the water for examination and proper disposal.

While it is still too soon to know what led to the whale's death, DiGiovanni says that many humpback whales end up washing ashore after being killed in what they call human-induced mortality events, such as vessel strikes or entanglement issues.



Responding groups hope to do a more thorough exam of the whale tomorrow, he says.

This year the Conservation Society is seeing an increase in the number of whale deaths in the area, he says, though it is still too soon to know if it is due to human-induced mortality events or biological reasons, or if there are simply more animals in the area.

DiGiovanni encourages people to report any dead animals washing up that they see to organizations such as the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society so that they can further study the deaths of these animals.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says it is working collaboratively with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society to carry out a response plan with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and National Park Service.

The organizations will collect information and help researchers better understand whale populations found in New York's marine waters.

The DEC encourages the public to keep a safe distance from the whale. National Park Service and DEC officers are on scene to ensure public safety.