Sandy Hook, NJ — Over the weekend, three dolphins were found to have washed ashore at Sandy Hook Bay. The dolphins were confirmed to be common dolphins, also known as short-beaked dolphins.
This isn’t the first instance of marine mammals washing ashore in the area. Over the last several months, there have been several reported instances of both whales and dolphins being found at New York and New Jersey shores. Earlier this month, a whale was found deceased in Manasquan’s shallow waters.
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Though the cause is unknown, Paul Kanitra—the Mayor of Point Pleasant Beach—suspects that offshore wind projects are what has been disrupting marine life, causing whales and dolphins to die in shallow waters. Kanitra has promptly called for the halting of any current offshore wind projects to mitigate aquatic mammal deaths moving forward.
“Just yesterday, three dolphins were stranded and died in Sandy Hook,” Kanitra said. “Their [Offshore Wind] silence has been deafening. The only times we hear anything is when they try to push the cause of all of this off on ‘boat strikes.'”
Though Kanitra is certain of the cause, others say to wait until results are official. Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) is urging people to hold off on blame until the necropsy is complete and all scientific data is analyzed. In a Facebook post, MMSC stated: “To assign blame before the scientific data is analyzed and interpreted would be premature, and could dilute our impact on championing changes on behalf of these animals in the future.”
Whatever the cause may be, one thing is for certain: New Jersey is having an issue regarding whale and dolphin deaths. Hopefully, officials can get to the bottom soon and proper action can be taken to alleviate marine mammal deaths moving forward.
This, of course, isn’t the first time we’ve seen an increase in marine life washing ashore. In July 2021, a bottlenose dolphin washed up on the beach in Sandy Hook—it was thought to have been struck by a boat. In September 2020, multiple dolphins were found stranded, dead around Sandy Hook—the deaths were assumed to be related to a toxic algal bloom that was present at the time. Though the cause of these deaths seems unrelated to the current issue, it is still worth noting that Sandy Hook has been experiencing issues with dying marine life for several years now.
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.