This week, the seventh dead whale in a little more than a month washed up on the Jersey Shore. This has started a discussion about how activities that happen far from shore affect marine life.
On Friday, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) reported that a humpback whale measuring 20 feet in length had been discovered on the shore of Brigantine on Thursday afternoon.
“Due to the incoming tide and low light last night, staff returned at daybreak this morning to take photos,” the update read. “Plans are underway for a necropsy to be performed on the animal.”
The whale’s body was found just a few miles from where another dead whale was found in Atlantic City on January 7. On December 23, a 30-foot female humpback whale washed up in the area.
Also, on December 5, a 12-foot sperm whale washed up in Keansburg, and on December 10, a young humpback whale washed up in Strathmere.
7th dead whale washes up on Jersey Shore which has many people concerned 🙏😔 pic.twitter.com/4qSGiTNiEF
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) January 15, 2023
On December 6, a humpback whale washed up in Amagansett, New York, and on December 12, a female sperm whale was found in Rockaway Beach, Queens.
In its most recent post, the MMSC said it could take months to figure out what killed the Brigantine whale and warned people not to go near the area out of safety concerns.
In recent weeks, there have been a lot of sad whale deaths along the coasts of New York and New Jersey. This has made people worry about the harm that off-shore wind development can do to marine life.
“This is bad news on top of bad news,” Cindy Zipf, the head of the non-profit Clean Ocean Action in Long Branch, told NJ Advance Media about the discovery of the whale in Brigantine.
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“This is devastating and shows even more urgency to our call to action for [President] Biden and Gov. Phil Murphy to call for a stop to all activity,” she continued. “Don’t add any more projects and get a comprehensive investigation underway with experts and full transparency with oversight.”
State Senator Vince Polistina agreed with Zipf’s calls for an investigation. He said in a statement, “We should be suspicious of all work related to off-shore development until we know what killed these whales.” NJ Advance Media said that New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew agreed with Polistina’s statement.
Even though there aren’t any offshore wind turbines in New Jersey yet, there are several projects in the works. This is because Gov. Murphy wants the state to reach an offshore electric wind generation goal of 11,000 megawatts by 2040.
A young humpback whale washed up on the beaches of Brigantine Thursday afternoon.
It’s the second whale found dead on the Jersey Shore in the last week, and one of seven in New York and N.J. in just over a month. https://t.co/vcxvaStX9T
— The Philadelphia Inquirer (@PhillyInquirer) January 13, 2023
During an interview on the radio on Wednesday, Murphy called the deaths of the whales “tragic” and promised that an investigation would be done to find out what caused them. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) confirmed that the agency was looking into the Brigantine incident.
The NOAA is looking into why there have been more reports of humpback whale deaths on the East Coast in the last few years. Since 2016, 174 dead humpback whales have been found on land in 13 different states.
The agency said that only about 87 were autopsied, and of those, 40% were found to have died from ship strikes or getting tangled up… Follow us on Journalist PR for more news like this.