10th Dead Whale Found Along NY/NJ Coastline
As investigators work to figure out the cause of an ongoing Unusual Mortality Event in the region, a tenth dead whale has washed up along the New York or New Jersey coastline.
The 25-foot minke was found on Rockaway Beach in Queens on Friday morning around 9 a.m., according to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society.
A preliminary investigation found that the adult female whale died from a boat strike.
"The animal had several broken bones and cut wounds across its body, all of which were sampled, that appear to have occurred prior to death," the AMCS said in a statement on social media. "There was additional evidence of blunt force trauma."
The carcass found Friday is the tenth dead whale to wash up in the region since a sperm whale was found in Keansburg on Dec. 5, 2022. It is believed the juvenile mammal was separated from its mother and starved.
More recently, a 35-foot humpback turned up dead at the Manasquan Inlet on Monday. Similar to the minke whale found Friday, it was also likely killed by a vessel strike.
The relatively high number of whale deaths since December has marine researchers looking into what is called an Unusual Mortality Event.
This is not the first time the Jersey Shore has seen a UME. More than 700 dead bottlenose dolphins appeared along the East Coast in less than a year starting in the summer of 1987, according to media reports. The deaths were caused by a virus.
Some activists and lawmakers have blamed work on offshore wind projects for disrupting whale activity and causing the deaths. However, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center based in Brigantine says there is no evidence for these claims as the investigations into the whales' cause of death are ongoing.
"To assign blame before the scientific data is analyzed and interpreted would be premature, and could dilute our impact on championing changes on behalf of these animals in the future," the MMSC said on social media. "The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is approaching this investigation in a non-biased manner."
A Save the Whales Rally is being held in Point Pleasant Beach near Jenkinson's Aquarium on Sunday afternoon. Supporters will be advocating for a stop to offshore wind turbine projects.