Marine Mammal S.C. Asks For Help Watching for Injured Whale
Brigantine's Marine Mammal Stranding Center is asking for help watching for an injured Humpback whale that was last seen Tuesday off the the New Jersey coast.
In a post Wednesday on Facebook, MMSC says they received a report about the injured Humpback whale with a severed fluke - the whale's tail - which they suspect happened in a run-in with a large ship.
When the whale was last seen about 3:30 pm Tuesday afternoon, it was swimming south, about one mile off the coast of Seaside Heights.
In 2001, there is record of something similar happening to a Humpback whale after a strike by a boat propeller near Sydney, Australia, according to reporting from ABC News.
That Humpback whale, known as Blade Runner, apparently survived the injury for 2 decades and was spotted in 2020 off the Cape Hauy coastline in Tasmanian waters.
Marine scientist Vanessa Pirotta told ABC at the time of the sighting that collisions between whales and vessels aren't uncommon.
"Some whales do recover and heal up, and [Bladerunner is] a great example of that," Dr Pirotta said.
"Interactions between vessels and whales can cause death."
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center asks that should you should spot this injured whale, you call their 24-hour stranding hotline (609) 266-0538 to report the location.
As a general rule, the MMSC points out that you should never leave information about animals on any of their social media sites (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, email, etc.).
Those social media accounts are not monitored 24/7, so if a message isn't seen right away an animal will remain in distress or move away from where it was first spotted.
The stranding hotline is always monitored. Again, that number is (609) 266-0538