24th dolphin since December beached at the Jersey Shore

File photo of harbor porpoise. Photo by Robert Grant.

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Officials have confirmed that another marine mammal has washed ashore and died at the Jersey Shore. According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, a harbor porpoise was found on the beach at 7:10 am in Ortley Beach.

It is the 24th dolphin to beach itself since December. Officials took tissue and blood samples for testing at a state lab.

A week ago, eight common dolphins were stranded in Sea Isle City. Two of those dolphins died, and the other six had to be euthanized due to their condition.

During that same period, ten whales washed ashore, including a humpback whale found dead, floating off the coast of Long Beah Island last Wednesday. Weather and water conditions prevented scientists from performing a necropsy.

Some conservation groups at the Jersey Shore believe sonar-based surveying being conducted off the coast of the Jersey Shore at the site of a future massive off-shore wind farm could be the cause of the recent increase.

Although New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy cites a nearly decade-long trend of increased marine mammal deaths in the Atlantic, the volume of deaths in the latest mass stranding events is significantly higher in 2023.

Elected officials at the Jersey Shore are calling on the Murphy administration to halt the project until further studies can be done.

Governor Phil Murphy has dismissed those claims as political theater, not backed by science.

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