Ocean City received an unexpected visitor to its Seventh Street beach when a 40 to 45-foot long whale washed ashore at around 12:30 p.m. on Monday.
The director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Robert Schoelkopf, said the whale may be the same one that was spotted last week about a mile from Ambrose Light, a shipping channel in Lower New York Bay. According to The Press of Atlantic City, Schoelkopf said technicians would be performing a necropsy on the whale to determine whether it had been struck by a ship.
He said the animal appears to be a fin whale. This whale would be a younger one, Schoelkopf said, because the adult fin whales usually grow to about 70 feet long.
It's been a rough week for the huge sea creatures. In Washington this past weekend, a 39-foot sperm whale wash ashore north of Seaview, and a 13-foot newborn gray whale came in south of Oysterville, Washington. Keith Chandler, director of the Seaside Aquarium, told Seaside Signal that they both were brought in by storms hitting the Oregon and Washington coast, and had been dead for some time.
According to TDN.com, Chandler said sperm whales live up to 70 years and can reach 50 to 60 feet in length. He said four to five whales usually wash up along the northern Oregon and southwest Washington coasts during a year.
Ocean City Patch reports that the tides have moved the whale further on the beach since Monday, which will help public works crews remove the dead and decomposing whale. An offshore breeze on Tuesday should nicely affect the aroma that was added to the area’s salty sea air on Monday.