NOAA investigating deaths of minke whales along the east coast

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

EAST COAST - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the increase in minke whale deaths and strandings along the east coast in 2017.

NOAA calls the past year's spike in whale deaths an "unusual mortality event." Similar investigations are happening into Right  and Humpback whale Deaths.

They say they're launching a focused, expert investigation into the cause of the deaths.

On Sunday, a whale was found deceased in the ocean near the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach. Police had to use a boat to tow the whale to Little Island City beach.

Several whales were found dead in Hampton Roads in 2017. In December, a juvenile fin whale that died near the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel due to an excessive amount of parasites in the whale's kidneys.

Whales also washed ashore at the Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton, along the Eastern Shore and in Virginia Beach near 80th Street.

RELATED:

Deceased whale towed to shore at Portsmouth’s Craney Island

Whale washes up along Eastern Shore

Whale washes ashore in Virginia Beach

Whale washes ashore at Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton

Dead whale washes up on Outer Banks shore

Dead whale spotted in Chesapeake Bay brought ashore by Virginia Aquarium

Whale dies after being stranded off Newport News coast

Deceased whale pulled in by police in Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach