Over the weekend, a second humpback whale washed up on the Jersey Shore, causing anxiety among locals and conservationists.
Since July, at least three more have washed up on the coast of South Jersey.
The 30-foot adult humpback whale was spotted on the beach near South Mississippi Avenue in Atlantic City on Saturday, just a few blocks from where another whale came up over the Christmas holiday.
The whale has been buried on the shore at this time.
On Sunday, observers observed as scientists began an autopsy.
Monday, a coalition of environmental organisations requested a probe into recent whale deaths, questioning whether offshore wind construction is to cause.
Cindy Zipf, the executive director of Clean Ocean Action, stated, “In the forty years that Clean Ocean Action has been working to safeguard these waters, we have never heard of six whales washing ashore within 33 days.”
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management stated that no wind farms are now operating or under construction off the coasts of New York or New Jersey, and refused to speculate on the reason of the whale deaths.
“BOEM and NMFS have evaluated the potential effects of HRG surveys linked with offshore wind projects in the Atlantic Ocean. Following a comprehensive evaluation, the NMFS has determined that these types of surveys pose no threat to whales or other endangered species.
BOEM mandates that developers use protective measures, such as species watchers, to avoid whales during these survey activities “according to a statement issued to Action News, Ocean City resident Robin Shaffer stated, “I cannot recall the last time I saw or heard a whale washing ashore.”
A team from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society in New York, which specialises in whale necropsies, collected samples on Sunday. Examining the samples will identify the cause of death.
The director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Sheila Dean, explains, “You meticulously examine the animal, dissect it, and determine what happened to each organ, if possible if everything is still intact.”
Danielle Brown, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University who studies whales in New York and New Jersey, was interviewed by Action News.
According to her, an increase in mortality may be related to a growth in population.
“Concerning is the fact that many of these whales have exhibited symptoms of vessel impact. But I can tell you that it makes sense, as it coincides to an increase of humpback whales over the past decade “added Brown.
She stated that necropsies can take weeks or months depending on the case’s complexity and the animal’s health.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, an extraordinary mortality event for humpback whales on the east coast began in 2016, and necropsies have been performed on almost half of the beached whales.
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