News Column

Finback Whale Dies After Beaching in New York

Dec. 27, 2012

An 18-meter finback whale, a member of an endangered species that beached off New York City, appeared to be dead, according to biologists on Thursday.

National fisheries officials observing the whale, which came ashore on Wednesday, "have not seen it take a breath" on Thursday morning, according to Robert DiGiovanni Junior, executive director of the Riverhead Foundation who was quoted by The New York Times online.

"We can basically say that it's dead," DiGiovanni said.

The mammal, one of the world's second-largest ocean-going species, was first spotted Wednesday morning at Breezy Point in the Queens - one of the areas hardest-hit by hurricane Sandy nearly two months ago.

Volunteer firefighters tried to revive it, hosing down the exposed parts of its body.

Biologists said the whale was severely underweight, at 60 tonnes.

Since 2000, the fin whale has been on the red list of endangered species monitored by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation monitors the health of marine life off the shores of New York state and supervises rescue operations.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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