The most recent whale found dead on a New Jersey shoreline, according to marine animal protection experts, had evidently been struck by a vessel.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center reported on Sunday that early necropsy results on the humpback whale that came ashore on Brigantine’s North End Natural Area on Thursday show the animal sustained “blunt trauma injuries consistent with those from a vessel hit.”
Injuries and bleeding were seen on the head, thorax, right side, and pectoral flipper, according to a statement from the centre. In the coming weeks, laboratory examinations will corroborate these findings.
The centre reported that the whale was a 32-foot, 7-inch female estimated to weigh about 12 tonnes and was in good condition based on the thickness of its blubber.
“The whale’s stomach was full of partially digested fish and its intestines contained faeces, showing that it had been actively feeding previous to its injuries,” the centre said.
The centre stated, “Vessel hits and entanglement in fishing gear are the greatest known human hazards to whales of all species.” “Although there has been conjecture as to whether these whale deaths are associated with wind energy development, no whale deaths have been related to offshore wind activities at this time,”
Brigantine, just north of Atlantic City, has found two additional dead whales on its beaches in recent weeks, among the seven whales that have died in New Jersey and New York in less than a month.
Some legislators have proposed a temporary halt to ocean-floor preparation work for offshore wind farms in the two states. The governor of New Jersey stated that he disagrees with the notion. The majority of New Jersey’s environmental organisations deemed a relationship between the deaths and offshore wind farm construction to be unsubstantiated and premature.
According to the centre, there are currently a huge number of big whales in the waters off the coast of New Jersey, possibly attracted by the little fish they feed on, which also attract stripers or striped bass. The government advised boaters to cruise cautiously (less than 10 knots) and keep an eye out for whales.