Why Are Dolphins Dying in New Jersey?
The last couple of weeks have been hard on dolphins at the Jersey shore. Since July 9th, the carcasses of 21 dolphins have washed up, from Monmouth County to Cape May.
One was found today on the beach in Atlantic City, and another in the waters off Cape May.
All but one were bottlenosed dolphins.
“We’re trying to collect any info we can to see if there are any trends,” said Maggie Mooney-Seus, spokeswoman for the NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. “Right now we don’t have enough info to say we’re seeing anything out of the ordinary. We’re still collecting the data.”
Necropsy results for at least four of the dolphins found in New Jersey determined the animals died of viral pneumonia, Marine Mammal Stranding Center co-director Bob Schoelkopf said. However, full results still will take more time as animal pathologists continue to finalize tests, he said.
“I’m concerned because it’s a higher than average number for us,” said Bob Schoelkopf, the Founding Director of the Brigantine’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
“The results we have had showing viral pneumonia is not indicative of a typical death of an animal,” Schoelkopf said. “There’s something more involved here and we’re not sure what it might be at this point.”