A dead whale was discovered washed up on the shore of a New Jersey beach this past Monday, February 13.
The massive animal was found on Whiting Avenue beach in Manasquan, according to the NY Post. Point Pleasant Mayor Paul Kanitra says it was tossed around in the surf before fully washing ashore.
“I’m currently standing on the beach a few hundred feet from the Manasquan Inlet watching yet another dead whale wash into the surf. It’s the size of a bus and it could easily come ashore in Point Pleasant Beach…Governor, when do these stop becoming coincidences? How many more will it take?” said Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra in a Facebook post on Monday.
This is the ninth whale to wash up on the shores in the NY-NJ area in the last two months–roughly two weeks ago a 35-foot-long male humpback whale washed ashore on Nassau County’s Lido Beach.
According to environmental conservation organization Clean Ocean Action, the number of whales that have washed ashore in a two-month period in the region has not been seen in 50 years.
They’re suspecting off-shore wind energy projects could be the cause, claiming that construction of the sites causes harm to marine animals. However, CBS News reports that federal officials are pushing back on this theory, saying that’s not what the evidence shows.
Still, twelve New Jersey mayors have written letters to New Jersey’s congressional delegation, demanding all offshore wind activities be halted until “further investigation is held by federal and state agencies that determine these activities are not a contributing factor to recent whale deaths,” CBS reports.
Activists and government officials have asked the Biden administration the same.
According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there’s been an uptick in humpback whale deaths along the U.S. Atlantic Coast since 2016.
Between 2016 and 2023, 25 whale deaths were reported in New Jersey and 35 in New York. Of the whales examined, about 40% had evidence of human interaction, either through ship strike or entanglement.
This event was declared an Unusual Mortality Event in April 2017.
The causes of death for these nine whales have yet to be confirmed.