A “mass stranding event” has led to the deaths of eight dolphins on a New Jersey beach.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center said that the dolphins were found Tuesday morning in Sea Isle City, with two already dead and the other six “rapidly deteriorating." Veterinarians deemed those remaining to be beyond help, and humanely euthanized them.
"The remaining six dolphins were assessed by our veterinarian and their conditions were rapidly deteriorating," the MMSC explained on Facebook. "The decision was made to humanely euthanize the dolphins to prevent further suffering, as returning them to the ocean would have only prolonged their inevitable death."
The center said they were not sure what had caused the strandings, and that necropsies would be performed on the eight dolphins at the New Jersey state lab to hopefully determine a cause of death.
"We share in the public's sorrow for these beautiful animals, and hope that the necropsies will help us understand the reason for their stranding," they wrote.
Less than a week ago, two other dolphins stranded and died on another New Jersey beach. An adult was dead before rescuers arrived, and a calf was soon after euthanized to prevent further suffering. Nine whales have also washed up dead on New Jersey shores so far this year, which the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has “unusual mortality events."
The government has constructed wind turbines off the coast in an effort to create offshore, clean energy. Some have blamed the construction for the deaths of the whales, but autopsies have shown that 40 percent of the whale deaths were caused by entanglement or vessel strike. The rest were inconclusive due to decay.
"There is no evidence to support speculation that noise resulting from wind development-related site characterization surveys could potentially cause mortality of whales, and no specific links between recent large whale mortalities and currently ongoing surveys," the NOAA said.