Dead whale spotted on South Beach

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A dead humpback whale washed up on South Beach in Edgartown Friday. - Hailey Yetman

Updated Dec. 9

A dead whale was spotted on South Beach on Friday. Edgartown resident Hailey Yetman told The Times she was motoring along Atlantic Drive when she spotted something floating at midday. When she went back to investigate, she discovered a whale washed ashore. She said she notified the Coast Guard and NOAA. Based on photos she took, Yetman said NOAA identified the whale as a humpback. 

NOAA spokesperson Jennifer Goebel confirmed it was a humpback whale. The cause of death is not known, as there is no response team on the Vineyard to perform a necropsy, she said. Based on photographs, she said, the Center for Coastal Studies is trying to ascertain if the whale is an identifiable individual. 

Wednesday morning Edgartown town administrator James Hagerty said he believed the whale washed back out to sea. 

      • Andrew– you are correct about the world wide numbers. Quite remarkable that the population of the western south atlantic humpback whale has grown from only 450 in the early 1960’s to near 25,000 today.
        Do you ever wonder how that happened?
        Well, it didn’t have anything to do with the whales themselves.
        A little group of “job killing radical environmentalist” called Greenpeace risked their lives to get in front of whaling ships. In the early 1960’s they managed to get a whale hunting moratorium in place, and in the mid 1980’s got the international whaling commission to implement a world wide ban on whale hunting. However, humpback whale populations are still below their natural levels. Blue whale populations are only about 8 % of their numbers in 1900. North Atlantic Right whale populations are still declining , with only an estimated 400 individuals at the end of 2018.
        So it’s a nice story for some whales despite the best efforts of “conservative” groups who fought tooth and nail against every single proposal to protect them.
        It’s another one of those feel good stories about humans acting to solve a problem. Like acid rain, the ozone hole, polluted rivers and smog. We now take all this for granted . Our rivers don’t catch fire, and you can see the street from the top of the world trade center. Liberal activist are responsible.
        Now, if we can just get the resolve to get plastics out of the oceans and keep the global temperature down to non catastrophic levels, humanity will have a chance of being around in 200 years.
        You can be sure that if sapiens are in fact still here in 200 years,it will certainly be because radical environmentalist (like Greta) did something to insure that.

        • Thank you Don for that well written and heartfelt letter. Regarding the enormous problem of plastics in the ocean, I recommend an organization called 4Ocean. They are doing remarkable work trying to clean the oceans worldwide and educate people about the dire situation of plastic pollution and how to combat and prevent it.

          • Here in Oregon they are phasing out disposable plastic bags & using recyclable bags. Cans & bottles fetch 10 cents return with many active recyclers.

          • Gayle. I had never heard of 40cean. Seems like a good company with a good purpose.
            They claim to have pulled an average of 3 million pounds of trash out of the ocean a year for the last 4 years.

        • From one Liberal activist to another… Well said! Outstanding, we all work so hard to do the hard work wether it’s saving the Oceans and all the species that depends on a healthy ecosystem or in my case fighting for the American Wild Horse and Burro’s of the western high ranges. We have boots on the ground, lawyers in the courtroom and we will fight for them till our last breath. ❤️✌️

  • Hope they don’t make the mistake like a local reporter in Portland, OR chronicled thirty years ago. The CG planted used an explosion to destroy the poor creature, but used too high a charge and blew pieces for a couple of hundred yards. It’s in the Oregonian archive if you’ve never seen it.

  • You can order 4 Ocean, recycled from harvested ocean plastic, bracelets (in a variety of colors named after sea creatures) online and I also saw them at Donoroma’s today. They make a nice gift!

  • So sad whenever we lose one of our beloved marine mammals! I hope that a necropsy will be done…NEAq? WHOI?

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