A deceased humpback whale that was spotted floating off Seaside Park on Wednesday washed ashore Thursday morning near the borough’s border with Seaside Heights at Funtown Beach.
The privately-owned beach is located near Stockton Avenue in Seaside Park, and was once home to the Funtown Pier amusement park. The whale was quickly covered with a tarp after being pulled onshore, and is now laying on the beach berm, away from the breaking waves. Police officers and federal NOAA Law Enforcement had staked out an exclusion zone around the dead marine mammal, though onlookers were gathering at a steady pace at the beach entrance to catch a glimpse of the massive creature.
(Video and imagery from the discovery of the whale on Wednesday can be seen in our previous story.)
The whale in Seaside Park is the one of about a dozen that have been discovered deceased, either at sea or washed up, this winter. The rash of strandings has led both officials and local residents to question whether sounding studies being conducted offshore in anticipation of the development of wind turbines could be affecting the mammals’ communication or navigation capabilities.
Kari Martin, with the environmental advocacy group Clean Ocean Action, was on scene and said a crew was expected to arrive to take the whale for a necropsy. The location where the post-morten examination would be performed would likely take place either on the beach itself or at a landfill, though the Ocean County Landfill reportedly would not accept the whale carcass.
Martin said the team that will perform the necropsy would not be able to come to Seaside Park until Friday morning, since they were in New York working on a separate whale necropsy.
Shorebeat will publish updates to the story as they become available.