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

Oct 3, 2018

The 26-foot minke whale carcass had been heavily scavenged by sharks when it washed up in Marshfield, Mass., according to the New England Aquarium.
Credit New England Aquarium

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.