|Deceased beached whale in the Queens borough
region of Breezy Point, New York.
Cleaner waterways in New York City have attracted more sea life, including seals, dolphins, whales, and sharks in bigger numbers than seen in a century.We have the same issue down here in the Chesapeake in a smaller way; with the cleaning of the Bay, more dolphins have been entering the bay every year. Last year a dead dolphin showed up on our beach. Smelled pretty bad. At least it wasn't a whale. But then, at least you can blow up a dead whale . . .
Sadly, many don’t survive the trip — there are also more mammals washing ashore or getting stranded.
Cases of beached whales have surged statewide, from 22 in 2009-2013 to 41 from 2014-2018, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows.
In the city, Breezy Point in Queens has become the top place for beached whales, with two dead humpbacks being discovered there in 2018, according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
A third whale found last year was hauled off the beach in Jamaica Bay in September.
One whale got stranded in New York state this year: a dead, 37-foot humpback discovered last Sunday in Westhampton.
But luckily, healthy whales are also being spotted in larger numbers in New York City’s ocean waters, according to Gotham Whale, which operates whale-watching tours.
The company recorded 167 whale sightings while cruising the Rockaways last year, compared with 105 in 2014, Gotham Whale’s Paul Sieswerda said.