Now it’s a porpoise: Another marine mammal species washing up on NJ beaches
🔴 The porpoise washed up near the former Joey Harriso's Surf Club in Ortley Beach
🔴 The Marine Mammal Stranding Center took it to a necropsy lab
🔴 A porpoise washed up on Island Beach State Park in January
TOMS RIVER— A porpoise stranded itself on a Jersey Shore beach on Tuesday morning, the second such incident involving porpoises this year.
Thirteen whales and 15 dolphins have been stranded on New Jersey and New York beaches since December. The most recent stranding involved eight common dolphins found on two beaches in Sea Isle City on March 21.
A porpoise washed ashore at Island Beach State Park on January 29.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center sent a staff member to the 6th Avenue Beach near the old Joey Harrison's Surf Club in the Ortley Beach section of Toms River. The staff member will take it to a necropsy lab.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J. 2nd District, will be part of a group that hopes to present Gov. Phil Murphy with an online petition Thursday calling for a halt to offshore wind energy activity to allow for an investigation into possible connections to the recent whale and dolphin deaths. The petition has collected over 477,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
Murphy: No reason for a pause
During a News 12 program on Monday, Murphy said the state is not ignoring concerns about the deaths but reiterated his belief there is no connection to sonar mapping for wind projects
"If you've got no evidence it also holds that there's no reason to pause," Murphy said. "If there is evidence that is credible we obviously will consider that evidence and figure out how we're going to react to that. The fact of the matter is that evidence does not exist at the moment."
According to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, porpoises and dolphins are both species of odontocetes or toothed whales. Porpoises have rounder faces and more triangular dorsal fins, while dolphins have more pointed beaks and dorsal fins.
Porpoise picture courtesy of Jim Murdoch News 12.