CONEY ISLAND - A dead whale washed up on the shore of Coney Island.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials say the minke whale was found Monday at around 11:30 a.m.

Marine biologists are now working to determine how the whale died. Kimberly Dunham, a marine biologist with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, says the whale may have been hit by a passing ship. She says in the past two years, more and more whales are swimming closer to our shores.

"We've begun seeing more of these large whales in the areas...literally right off the coast of Rockaway and Atlantic Beach," says Dunham.

Marine biologists say it's important to document these types of cases to ensure that it doesn't become a problem in the future.