LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Biologists Thursday will study a dead whale which washed ashore in a shipping channel near the Port of Long Beach to determine how it died.

The approximately 50-foot whale was discovered at about 6 p.m. Wednesday by the U.S. Coast Guard, near Nimitz Road at Pier T, the Long Beach Fire Department said. Scientists confirmed it was a female juvenile fin whale.

The whale had abrasions along its midsection, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokesperson told CBS2 Thursday in an email. Scientists were looking into the possibility it may have been struck by a ship.

The whale was still tied to a dock and it was unclear when it would be moved. Scientists need to find a location that provides them enough room to conduct a full necropsy.

A port spokesperson described the finding as a rare occurrence and could not recall a whale ever having been trapped in shipping traffic.

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