NOAA Fisheries received a report of a dead North Atlantic right whale floating 4 miles south of Fire Island Inlet off Long Island, NY. The carcass is extremely decomposed, and according to their press release issue late Monday night night September 16, they are not able to provide any details on the whale’s cause of death, age, or sex at this time. 

The release states they are working with Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Coast Guard, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Fire Island National Seashore on a response plan. We hope to be able to further examine the whale tomorrow.

This is the first observed right whale death in U.S. waters in 2019. An unusual mortality event (UME) has been in effect for North Atlantic right whales since 2017, during which nearly 30 whales have been found dead in U.S. and Canadian waters.

North Atlantic right whales are endangered, with only about 400 remaining, of which only about 95 are breeding females.

This remains a developing situation, and NOAA Fisheries will issue updates as more information is received.

NOAA Fisheries reminds the public to report sick, injured, stranded, or dead marine mammals to your local stranding network. In New York, please call (631) 369-9829.