Topics: Marine Mammals

Official: Stage Harbor Minke Whale Was Sick

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Officials say a minke whale that spent last Thursday in Stage Harbor before dying in the Oyster River apparently had an underlying health condition that caused it to become stranded. The 18-foot long whale was first spotted in the area of the Eldredge trap dock before 6 a.m. Thursday, and onlookers watched in amazement as it swam under the floats at Old Mill Boat Yard. When it emerged from under th...

CHATHAM — Two young humpback whales that died on Monomoy Island last week are being tracked as part of what researchers call an “unusual mortality event” that includes five dead humpbacks in Massachusetts and 46 around the region in the past two years. On Monday, June 19, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was alerted to a dead humpback on the island, and notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser...

HARWICH ─ Dissections are a typical part of most high school biology classes, but thanks to a special partnership between Monomoy Regional High School and the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, students in Adriana Picariello's Marine Science class recently had the unique opportunity to necropsy a quartet of Kemp's ridley sea turtles. “The Audubon rescues the stranded turtles and sends them off to...

On Monday afternoon roughly three miles off the shores of South Monomoy Island, a vessel rocked slowly on gentle swells as those on board peered eagerly at the water, hoping for one thing: the slice of a fin through the waves. Unfortunately, it was a shark-free day aboard the OCEARCH shark research boat, but the day provided an opportunity for guests joining the crew to learn a bit about what goes on “out there.”...

Wayward Manatee Rescued, Found To Be Pregnant

By: Alan Pollock

The manatee that visited Harwich waters over the summer got a surprise last Thursday when it was captured by marine mammal rescue experts and shuttled to the Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation. And then it had a surprise for researchers. It's pregnant. On Tuesday, veterinarians were conducting a routine medical exam on the manatee, named “Washburn” after the island in Falmouth where it was rescued. “An u...

The manatee that visited Harwich waters over the summer got a surprise last Thursday when it was captured by marine mammal rescue experts and shuttled to the Mystic Aquarium for rehabilitation. And then it had a surprise for researchers. It's pregnant. On Tuesday, veterinarians were conducting a routine medical exam on the manatee, named “Washburn” after the island in Falmouth where it was rescued. “An u...

Team Effort Saves Young Humpback Whale Off Chatham

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Thanks to quick work by a charter boat operator, the Coast Guard and the Center for Coastal Studies, a young humpback whale was freed from fishing gear off Chatham Friday afternoon. Captain Darren Saletta of Monomoy Sportfishing and a fishing party were about two-and-a-half miles east of Chatham when they came upon the juvenile whale tangled in lobster gear. The whale was “extremely fatigued, strug...

Manatee At Home In Harwich Harbors

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — A semi-tropical herbivore has been hanging out in Saquatucket Harbor. The last time a manatee was spotted in local waters was 2008 when a resident of Round Cove thought someone threw a piece of carpet into the water and then a nose rose to the surface. Deputy Harbormaster Bill Neiser said on Tuesday there was a report Sunday of someone seeing a manatee in Saquatucket Harbor. The first thought was ...

Pilot Whale Strands, Dies At Harding's Beach

By: Kat Szmit

CHATHAM ─ In the foggy hours just after dawn on July 18, a 17-foot pilot whale stranded and died in the sandbars at the point of Harding's Beach. The whale was initially spotted by Kelly Chase, a friend of Corbin Ross, BMCS, Officer in Charge at Coast Guard Station Chatham, with news of the stranded creature reaching officials from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the media shortly afterw...

CHATHAM — Officials are still reviewing the data collected from a necropsy of a North Atlantic right whale calf found dead off Chatham on May 5, but it appears that the endangered animal was alive when it was struck and wounded by boat propellers. Federal officials are investigating the incident to determine which boats were in the area at the time and whether they might have been violating a federal law that l...