Washed up deceased humpback on Breezy Point.
I received these photos a day before this post on 2-12-18. They were sent to me by the first person on the scene Dana Filipini and all photo credit goes to Dana.
The sub-adult 30ft Humpback Whale was found on Breezy Point beach NY, the whale was washed up dead. It’s unknown how long the whale was there on the beach, but it looks like it was not their long.
Upon review of these and other photos of the stranded and deceased humpback it looks like, while this whale was alive, at some point was heavily entangled? The whale has scars over the body and the white scar/stripe on the peduncle ridge between the Dorsal and tail stock can be from rope or fishing gear netting cutting into the whale that has healed. In the photos you can’t really see too well because of the sand if there are fish trap or fishing gear scars on the tail stock. Almost all photos I take of live juvenile or Sub-adult’s we see around here have entanglement scars where the peduncle and the tail stock meet.
The scar marks on the Dorsal is another story or theory. The markings look to me like it was a shark, or an orca and I think it was an orca. We often see teeth marks or Rake Markings made from Orca’s harassing the whales when they were smaller. It’s almost always on the Pectoral fins and the flukes but I never have seen a rake mark on the dorsal fin on the NYC whales? I have seen humpbacks with missing dorsals, but they were not associated with the tell-tale orca rake makings from their teeth.
Here is my take, this Humpback whale was alive and was entangled. The fishing gear or entanglement really curbed the whale’s actions to get away or actively protect itself from an attack. Because of the entanglement Orca’s picked on the weak and harassed the whale biting the dorsal leaving the rake markings on the humpback’s dorsal. The scars on the dorsal show the wound was healing.
How the whale died is to be determined. The necropsy reports of this and the others that recently happened here on Long Island and NYC performed by the AMCS are to be reviewed by the investigation team put together by NOAA prior to release. The necropsy reports should be released in March/April when they are released there will be an update.