Dead whale carcass found in Port of Long Beach

Scientists on Thursday will try to determine what killeda whale found in a shipping channel near the Port of Long Beach.

The whale was discovered by the U.S. Coast Guard around 6 p.m. Wednesday near Nimitz Road and Pier T and was tied to the pier awaiting the arrival of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists.

"We don't know the gender," NOAA spokesman Michael Milstein told City News Service. NOAA estimates the whale's size at 50 feet and photos indicate it could be a Fin whale, which migrates north to south this time of year, he said.

"It has abrasions on its midsection which could possibly be from a ship strike," Milstein said.

Scientists will look for a place to conduct a necropsy to determine the cause of death, he said. They look for underlying illness that would cause the whale to enter the busy port as well as injuries, wounds and any indication the whale was struck by a ship or entangled in ropes.

It is not common to find a whale in a busy port area, Milstein said.

Once scientists have gleaned information from the carcass, they will likely have it towed offshore and sunk in the ocean, he said.

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