8th Dead Whale Washes Up At The Jersey Shore
On February 13th in the afternoon, residents of Manasquan Inlet were shocked to find a deceased whale washed up on the shore, causing alarm among environmentalists and local residents.
The 60-65 foot long whale, believed to be a humpback, was discovered near the inlet’s jetty, sparking an investigation into the cause of its death.
This is the eighth dead whale that has washed up on the Jersey coast in the past few months which only reignites the calls from groups that want the pausing of the off-shore wind project until the results from the previous whales come back.
Scientists are conducting a necropsy to determine the contributing factors. Some experts speculate that the whale may have become entangled in fishing gear, a common issue for marine mammals in our area due to the high traffic of cargo ships.
The investigation into the death, type, and arrival of the whale is being assisted by the Marine Mammal Stranding Center located in Brigantine. This is the same team that has been studying the other whales that have landed on our beaches.
If the whale was struck by a ship visible marks would be seen near the head of the whale. On-lookers were able to see some markings but couldn’t tell if that was the main cause.
The issue has caused division, with local environmental groups like Clean Ocean Action suggesting a need to investigate the connection between wind farms and dead whales.
However, some climate activists think it’s too early to draw such a conclusion. Federal environmental and energy officials have denied any responsibility for the offshore wind power industry. As the cause of the deaths remains unclear, local officials are cautioning people to avoid the carcass.
Authorities announced their plans to relocate the deceased whale washed up on the shore of Manasquan Inlet to more shallow waters to avoid it getting caught in rocks. Although the exact timeline for removal has not been determined, the whale is expected to remain on the beach until Tuesday.
Most likely, the whale will be buried on the beach like many of the other whales that have washed up these past few months.
This latest incident serves as a reminder of the delicate balance between human activities and the health of the ocean’s ecosystems. Scientists and conservationists hope that the death of this whale will spark a renewed effort to protect marine mammals and their habitats.
Photos by Mayor Paul Kanitra
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