SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A minke whale that became entangled in some type of fishing gear was found dead off the coast of Point Judith Monday.
Daniel Pasquera, a spokesperson for Mystic Aquarium, said members of the U.S. Coast Guard found the carcass and worked with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to transport it to shore near Wakefield.
Pasquera said members of Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program and the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society will be spending the next several days performing a field necropsy on the whale.
They will also be retrieving the gear the whale was tangled in so it can be further analyzed by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Pasquera said the death of this whale “is a clear and stark example of the need to prioritize investment in conservation research, as experts continue to fight the tide of extinction for cetacean species disappearing from our oceans.”
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports there have been 100 minke whale strandings since 2017.
Certain whales, including the North Atlantic right whale, are on the brink of extinction, according to NOAA.
This article has been corrected to reflect that minke whales are not on the brink of extinction.