Another deceased whale has been spotted at the Jersey Shore, this time off Seaside Park.
Mayor John Peterson said the whale was first discovered Wednesday morning relatively close to shore, within eyeshot of the beach. But by mid-afternoon, the tide had taken the massive marine mammal farther offshore. Authorities believe the whale is a humpback, a species known for breaching and surface activities.
Shorebeat’s drone captured video of the whale about 4:30 p.m., with data from the flight recorder indicating its position about 1.75 miles east of M Street in Seaside Park. A small crowd of local residents gathered at the beach entrance, binoculars in hand, to catch a glimpse of the creature – the latest whale to lose its life under unknown circumstances off the Jersey Shore.
Environmental advocates and local officials have repeatedly asked state and federal regulators to conduct a study into the string of whale deaths and pause the development of offshore wind turbines. Research to map out the turbine locations, which includes the use of radiofrequency and sonar technologies, is believed by some to be the cause of the deaths of numerous marine mammals, from whales, to dolphins, to seals that have appeared washed up on beaches up and down the Jersey Shore for the past several months.
“Certainly, something major has changed over the past few months,” said Peterson, who first was notified of the presence of the whale in the morning.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been notified of the situation and is monitoring the area, officials said. At least one USCG helicopter made a pass over the area while a reporter was on scene.