YORK, Maine — People are wondering how a 25-foot-long minke whale ended up getting stranded on Long Sands Beach in York on Friday night, leading to claims on social media that wind farms are responsible for the whale's death.
The issue gained traction earlier in 2023 when 16 humpback whales washed up on Atlantic Ocean shores in the winter of 2022-2023.
We went to the experts in marine mammal safety and wind farms in the U.S. to verify.
Is there any evidence that wind farms are responsible for killing whales?
Marine Mammals of Maine posted an update on its Facebook page Saturday, saying the 25-foot-long male minke whale was in "extremely poor nutritional condition."
Those marine scientists said the animal stranded itself in poor health. They said that while their team was responding to the scene, the whale died.
"The necropsy team is still working to complete the evaluation, and it may take an extensive amount of time for samples to be processed and more details to become available," the scientists wrote in the post.
Some argue the noise from offshore windfarms can impact a whale's navigation and lead to stranding or death, but our sources said there is no evidence to support this theory.
The Marine Mammal Commission, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and NOAA Fisheries all said there is no evidence linking these whale strandings to offshore wind energy development, nor is there evidence of noise from site surveys causing the death of whales.
NOAA has been tracking the increase in whale deaths over the last 6 years and determined that "Vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are the greatest human threats to large whales."