Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dolphin Found on North Wildwood Beach


On Saturday, June 13, 2015, at approximately 9:45 a.m., the North Wildwood Beach Patrol found a small/young bottlenose dolphin that had washed up on the city's 4th Avenue beach.

Given the limited remains of the small dolphin, the North Wildwood Beach Patrol disposed of the carcass without further action.

According the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, it was reported that before washing up on the shore, the young dolphin likely died prior to being bitten by a sand tiger shark - described as a "harmless" species with no confirmed human fatalities.

Over the past few years, New Jersey as well as the entire East Coast has seen an increase in dolphin deaths caused by illnesses. In fact, as reported by NOAA, the morbillivirus is a measles-like disease which claimed over 700 dolphins along the East Coast from 1987-1988, and was the confirmed culprit in several dolphin deaths in 2013.

Amongst the reported dolphin deaths for 2013, similar bite marks were found on carcasses that washed ashore. In a statement from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, "dead floating animals are very likely to have shark bites. Live, healthy animals usually stay well away from any sharks."

Going forward, the Chief of the North Wildwood Beach Patrol was directed that all lifeguards be on notice that any incidents of this nature shall be immediately reported, with prompt action taken to and by the proper authorities.

Lifeguards of the North Wildwood Beach Patrol have received the reinforced, procedural training effective this date, to ensure that proper accountability is maintained at all times.

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