Latest whales found dead off NJ/NY coast killed by boat strikes, NOAA says
🔴 Experts have performed necropsies on a pair of dead whales found last week
🔴 The results found both whales were killed by vessel strikes
🔴 At least 12 humpbacks have stranded off the NJ/NY coast in 2023
Blunt-force trauma inflicted by boat strikes is responsible for the deaths of two humpback whales found floating off the coasts of New Jersey and New York last week, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The pair of whales were reported on Thursday floating in the Raritan Bay and off the coast of Southampton, NY. It's now believed both whales were first spotted on Wednesday. At least 12 humpback whale strandings have been recorded off the NJ/NY coast this year so far, according to NOAA.
Despite the timing of the spottings, NOAA said that the whales were at different stages of decomposition and unrelated.
According to NOAA, the 28-foot-long female humpback spotted in the bay was towed to the Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook for a necropsy. The examination revealed severe injuries.
The whale's skull had been fractured in several places and its left pectoral fin had been cut off. Bruises, cuts, and other fractures were found all over the mammal. NOAA said the necropsy determined the injuries were caused by a vessel strike.
After the analysis, the humpback was buried in the sand, which is frequently done for whale carcasses.
The male humpback whale found off the coast of Long Island was much larger at 47 feet long, according to NOAA. It drifted closer to land and was brought to shore in Southampton.
The examination found the whale had decomposed significantly more than the female humpback. Despite the condition of the body, a necropsy found bruising in the mammal's blubber and muscle on both sides of its head. It also was buried in the sand following the examination.
Blunt force trauma was also determined as the cause of death for the male humpback.