Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MASS FISH DIE-OFFS: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - Dead Humpback Whale Washes Up On Beach In Newport, Rhode Island; Dead Whale Found Grounded In Gardiner's Bay, New York; And Officials Probing Fishkill On Beach In Barbados?! [VIDEO]

Dead humpback whale in Rhode Island.

April 26, 2016 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Dead humpback whale washes up on beach in Newport, Rhode Island

Nestled against the rocks at the end of Hazard's Beach in Newport is what appears to be a dead humpback whale.

Andi Flax is one of dozens who came out to see it. "A friend posted some pictures on Facebook and it's not something you see everyday so we thought we'd come pay our respects."

In fact, it's been drawing Rhode Islanders from all over the state, like Jillian Borgia.

"We saw it on Facebook...we drove from Bristol to come down and see the whale!"

Some locals say the whale's been here since Sunday, but the question now is what's going to happen to it next?

"My question is how did it get there and what do you do with it? Study it, burn it, leave it there?"

WATCH: Dead whale washes ashore in Rhode Island.

We haven't heard back from Mystic Aquarium, who's handling the whale carcass, but typically they are buried or pulled back out to sea.

Until then, spectators are taking advantage of the opportunity to see the sea creature up close and personal - if they can stand the smell.

"It's a lot bigger than I thought it was gonna be...but it doesn't smell as bad...it's my snapchat story!"

Dead whale found grounded in Gardiner's Bay, New York

A drone photograph captured the sight of the dead whale grounded in Gardiner's Bay on Monday afternoon.Dell Cullum

A dead whale has run aground in Gardiner's Bay, leaving East Hampton Town officials trying to figure out what to do about it.

A bayman reported what appeared to be the carcass of a small humpback whale in the water on Sunday morning, according to Ed Michels, the chief harbormaster. Coast Guard Station Montauk searched for it but did not locate the 20-foot whale until Sunday evening, Mr. Michels said. As of Monday afternoon, the carcass had become stuck on the bay bottom and was belly up in shallow water about 500 feet from the shore between the Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett and Promised Land, he said.

Mr. Michels said he did not know any specifics about the type of whale or how long it had been dead. Right now, his main concern is what to do about it, he said, adding that he has given Supervisor Larry Cantwell two options: Leave it alone and let Mother Nature run its course, or try to tow it to shore and dispose of it, a process that comes with a hefty price tag. "If we go touch it, it's going to cost thousands."

Mr. Michels has been in touch with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, and the organization has indicated to him that it would like to perform a necropsy, if it can get hold of the whale. However, the foundation would only take pieces of the carcass; the rest of the whale would have to be disposed of. Those costs, along with the cost of bringing in the equipment to move the whale, would add up fast, he said.

Mr. Michels is not sure the carcass is in good enough shape to be hauled to the shore. "Can it handle a tail rope? That's the only way to tow it," he said.

The supervisor was briefed on the situation Monday afternoon and has asked that the Riverhead Foundation go out on a Marine Patrol boat on Tuesday to evaluate the carcass's condition and if moving it is a viable option. "There are any number of considerations here," Mr. Cantwell said, among them where it could be brought to shore. Once some of those answers are available, then he will make a decision.

Even if the supervisor signs off on spending the money, the operation to move it would not begin before Tuesday at the earliest, and that's if the weather cooperates, he said. The situation could also change by then; the carcass could float away or float to shore, and at that time the town's hand would be forced.

"I think we have an obligation not to have a health hazard on the beach," Mr. Michels said.

Officials probing fishkill on beach in Barbados

Some of the hundreds of jacks on the beach at Cattlewash, St Joseph. Heather-Lynn Evanson

Hundreds of big eyed jacks have washed up on a stretch of East Coast beach and environment officials aren't quite sure why.

Right now, their best guess is low oxygen levels in the water.

Yesterday morning the dead silver scale fish were the first thing that greeted Kim Somerville, who walks the Cattlewash, St Joseph beach every weekend.

She journeyed to the area for her weekly ritual, when she came across the sight.

- ABC6 | East Hampton Star | Nation News.

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