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Another dead marine mammal washed up Tuesday on a New Jersey beach. This follows a mass stranding of dolphins last week in Sea Isle City.
The harbor porpoise came ashore around 8 a.m. at Ortley Beach in Toms River and was found where the old Joey Harrison’s Surf Club once stood. It’s unclear what led to the death of the porpoise. Clean Ocean Action says this is the first harbor porpoise to wash on shore during the recent increase in strandings.
A harbor porpoise differs in dolphins in several ways: smaller noses, smaller fins and smaller bodies. The one that washed ashore is around 2 feet long and is believed to be a juvenile, according to experts. At full grown, they are around 5 feet long and can weigh around 120 pounds. They usually nurse for eight months after birth.
The main threats of a harbor porpoise are fishing nets and ocean noise, which can disrupt their behavior and interfere with their communication, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.
This latest stranding comes after at least 16 dolphins washed up on beaches in New Jersey since mid-February. More than a dozen whales were found dead along New Jersey and New York beaches since December.
While scientists from NOAA and reps from the Department of Environmental Protection continue to say there is no link to offshore wind activities and the mass strandings, a rally is planned in Trenton on Thursday.
Groups will hand-deliver a half-million signatures at the rally, calling for a pause to offshore wind surveys until further testing can be done. Meanwhile, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center tells News 12 that it is sending volunteers to investigate this latest stranding.
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