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'Unusual Mortality Event' - Latest Minke Whale Death Marks 26th In New England This Year

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New England Aquarium
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Another minke whale has been found dead on the New England coast.

The carcass found in Massachusetts on Tuesday marks 26 deaths of what regulators call an "unusual mortality event" for minke whales.

They're not considered endangered. But like all whales, they are a protected species in American waters.

Twenty of this year's minke deaths have been in New England, including two off the New Hampshire Seacoast. Most have been in Maine and Massachusetts. 

Minkes are not the only whales in trouble this year. North Atlantic right whales and humpbacks are seeing an unusual die-off, too.

Minke whales are the smallest and most abundant species of a group called the great whales, which includes humpbacks and blue whales.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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