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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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3 More Whales Wash Ashore in NJ, NY

Dead Whale
Courtesy Bobby Hughes via Twitter
Shown is a file photo of a deceased whale washed ashore.

By Vince Conti

There have been three Atlantic whale fatalities in four days, from Aug. 11 to Aug. 14. Two of the whales were in New York state waters and one was in Long Branch.

Since December 2022, dozens of sea mammals have washed ashore along the coastline of the neighboring states of New York and New Jersey. July was a quiet month, which held out the possibility that there would be a respite in sea mammal fatalities. For the month of July, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) listed only one dolphin fatality, July 17, in New Jersey.

Now, three humpback whale deaths in four days has put an end to that brief pause in sea mammal fatalities.

A 30-foot humpback whale was found dead on the shore of Fire Island, New York, Aug. 11. The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) responded and found the carcass “to be very decomposed.” The society said, “Preliminary necropsy findings documented suspected blunt force trauma consistent with a vessel strike.” Samples will be sent to pathologists for further analysis. The carcass was then buried on the beach.

Another humpback whale carcass washed ashore, Aug. 12, in Long Branch. According to a statement from the City of Long Branch, the MMSC and the AMCS responded and worked with city officials to secure the animal for a necropsy. Both the MMSC and AMCS are federally authorized marine mammal response organizations.

Another humpback whale carcass was seen floating off shore at Atlantic Beach, Nassau County, New York, Aug. 14. The AMCS says it was alerted via a call to a standing hotline. The most recent information was that plans were being developed to secure the carcass, which is located approximately 3 miles offshore. A necropsy will be performed.

Contact the author, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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