Dead Humpback on Napeague

A dead humpback whale measuring between 30 and 35 feet washed up on the ocean beach near the Hermitage at Napeague last Thursday. Atlantic Marine Conservation Society

A severely decomposed humpback whale washed ashore on Napeague last Thursday morning, the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society reported. 

Society biologists conducted a necropsy on the whale on Friday, after East Hampton Town Highway Department and Marine Patrol units worked to secure it in the surf. Though the cause of death was not determined then, biologists said the whale was a female, 30.5 feet in length. Samples were sent to a pathologist, but the results may take several months to come back. 

“Because there is limited space on the beach and steep erosion, the best option for the examination and disposal was to transport to East Hampton Town Sanitation,” the society said in a release, adding that this was the sixth humpback whale death it had responded to this year.

“There is an ongoing unusual mortality event in effect along the Atlantic Coast that has impacted more than 75 humpback whales since 2016,” the statement said.