Researchers from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, or AMSEAS, conducted a necropsy on a dead humpback whale that washed up onto the beach near Halsey Neck Lane in Southampton on Thursday morning, November 14.
AMSEAS received the initial report at 8:35 a.m., and the team arrived on the scene at around 10:45 a.m. and began examining the juvenile female whale, which was 27½ feet long and appeared to be underweight, responders said.
The AMSEAS team worked with the Southampton Village Highway Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, and a rescue team from the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut to complete the necropsy at around 3:30 p.m., with no significant findings to report.
The responding team collected samples that will be taken to a pathologist to help determine the cause of death, which may take several months.
The whale was buried on site after the examination.
According to AMSEAS, this was the 13th-largest whale and seventh-largest humpback that the organization responded to this year. They said an unusual mortality event has been affecting the regional humpback whale population since 2016.
“As we continue to build capacity for large whale response in the area, working with network partners and individual townships is essential,” said AMSEAS chief scientist Rob DiGiovanni in a press release. “Being able to pull resources together quickly for a response like this prepares us for a number of other response efforts on all scales. We’re grateful to have had all of these groups come together and support us today.”
Village Administrator Russell Kratoville also expressed his gratitude on Thursday afternoon.
“The Village of Southampton would like to thank Atlantic Marine Conservation Society for their quick response to this unfortunate event,” said Mr. Kratoville. “The Board of Trustees would like to recognize the skillful work of the Village Highway Department in assisting in this effort.”