Whale Necropsy Finds Propeller Wounds

Photo: Michael McKenna, MMSC

  SEASIDE PARK – Marine experts have determined the cause of death of the whale that washed ashore in Seaside Park.

  The whale was first spotted March 1 about one mile off the L Street beach and confirmed by the Seaside Park Police Department. The whale then washed up the following day.

  On March 3, The Marine Mammal Stranding Center as well as other experts completed the necropsy. Despite it being somewhat decomposed, teams found several internal and external injuries on the female whale. These injuries included bruising on the head, sections of fractured skull, and sharp force trauma consistent with propeller wounds on the right lateral side, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center said. Additionally, experts found evidence of previous entanglement scars.

  “The necropsy team obtained samples from the wound sites, as well as other parts of the whale, that will be sent out for further testing to determine if the injuries were sustained pre or post mortem. Full results may not be available for many weeks,” The Marine Mammal Stranding Center said. “Following the necropsy, the whale was buried on the beach.”

  The Seaside Park Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works, NJ State Park Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Officials, Seaside Heights Officials, NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Law Enforcement and Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Staff, NJ Department of Environmental Projection, and Monmouth County Department of Public Works were all on scene or assisting with the response.