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What's Killing Minke Whales?


Minke whales may not be New England's best known or most charismatic whales, but some Massachusetts residents have gotten an up close look at them in recent months as several dead minkes have washed up on shore. 

There have been 20 deaths of minke whales in New England this year with nearly half of those in Massachusetts. And it's the second straight year of unusually high death rates for the species. So, what is killing minke whales?

Ainsley Smith is the acting regional marine mammal response coordinator for NOAA Fisheries. She spoke to Living Lab Radio about the subject.   

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Elsa Partan is a producer and newscaster with CAI. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.