Finback whale beached in Queens is dead - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Finback whale beached in Queens is dead

Posted: Updated:
A finback whale washed up on a beach in Queens. (Photo by Ti-Hua Chang) A finback whale washed up on a beach in Queens. (Photo by Ti-Hua Chang)

By TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) --A 60-foot whale was found dead on Thursday after getting stranded on a beach in a coastal enclave of New York City that was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The animal -- part of an endangered species known as finback or fin whales -- was severely emaciated but clinging to life when it was discovered Wednesday stranded on the bay side of Breezy Point. Volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the whale as it sat halfway out of the water.

At high tide, the whale drifted away and out of sight before washing ashore again on Thursday morning, this time having stopped breathing, said Mendy Garron of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Marine experts later confirmed the animal was dead. They planned to perform a necropsy to determine a cause of death before burying the giant carcass, said Kimberly Durham of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research.

The experts had given little hope the whale would survive because it appeared to weigh only about 20 to 30 tons -- well less than half normal. The whale appeared to have scratches or streaks of blood on its body, but no signs of serious trauma suggesting it had been hit by a boat.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, finbacks average 70 feet in length and 70 tons in weight -- second in size only to blue whales. It also is one of nature's fastest whales, capable of short bursts of up to 35 mph.

The whales were placed on the endangered species list after whaling decimated their numbers in the North Atlantic before a 1987 ban. Some estimates put their current count in the North Atlantic below 2,000.

Experts say the biggest threats to the finbacks are collisions with large ships, entanglement with fishing gear and a depletion of food supply because of overfishing.

Superstorm Sandy caused serious flooding and a fire that destroyed 100 homes in Breezy Point when it struck in October.

  • Queens NewsQueens NewsMore>>

  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:02 AM EDT2014-07-25 13:02:01 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
  • Outdoor basketball courts losing popularity

    Outdoor basketball courts losing popularity

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:35 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:35:16 GMT
    Believe it or not this, some say New York's outdoor basketball courts are a dying entity. Even Rucker Park in Harlem -- where Dr. J and countless others honed their skills -- used to be standing room only all times of the day. Now there's plenty of room to stand on most days.Basketball programs like one at Chelsea Piers are gaining popularity. That means the place to hoop it up for many appears to be indoors.
    Believe it or not this, some say New York's outdoor basketball courts are a dying entity. Even Rucker Park in Harlem -- where Dr. J and countless others honed their skills -- used to be standing room only all times of the day. Now there's plenty of room to stand on most days.Basketball programs like one at Chelsea Piers are gaining popularity. That means the place to hoop it up for many appears to be indoors.
  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:45 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:45:43 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices