VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – For the second time in less than a week, a whale has been found dead in Virginia Beach.
WAVY learned of the most recent case on Sunday, Feb. 12.
The right whale became stranded between Chic’s Beach and Bay Lake Beach. There is no obvious cause of death; it has no entanglement marks or ship strikes. NOAA reports the necropsy examination could take place Tuesday. Meanwhile, plans for the whale’s removal remain undetermined.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says North Atlantic right whales have been experiencing an Unusual Mortality Event since 2017. The species is dying faster than they can reproduce.
The City of Virginia Beach issued an advisory on January 30 on behalf of NOAA Fisheries Services, warning that critically endangered North Atlantic right whales had been spotted off the coast of the resort city.
The Virginia Aquarium is encouraging mariners to slow down to 10 knots through April 30, when the whales are most likely to be in this area. Entanglement in fishing gear and vessel strikes are the leading causes of serious injuries to right whales.
There have been a string of whale deaths along the East Coast.
You can report a whale sighting to NOAA by calling 866-755-6622. There’s also a free Whale Alert App that allows you to see where whales have been spotted and add your own sighting. Download in the App Store or get it on Google Play.
Just last week, on Feb. 7, the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team assisted in bringing a dead humpback whale to shore in Virginia Beach near First Landing State Park. Heavy equipment was brought in to help move the whale so members of the response team could perform a necropsy to determine how the animal died. We’re still waiting on those results.