Scientists have more to say today about dolphins dying along the New Jersey coast.
More dolphins have turned up dead along Jersey Shore beaches.
They were found in Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island and other locations, bringing the number to 58 since July 9.
Director Robert Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center tells The Press of Atlantic City the dolphins appear to be dying of viral pneumonia, but the cause is unknown.
The federal government has been investigating the cause of dolphin deaths up and down the Eastern Seaboard this summer. Scientists are exploring many possible causes such as disease, changes in the environment and human activities.
The deaths have been declared an “unusual mortality event” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A bottlenose dolphin that washed up earlier this month test positive for morbillivirus, but officials said it was too early to tell if that is the culprit for the other deaths.
"We're not saying that this is a morbillivirus outbreak," Teri Rowles, NOAA's National Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, said at the time. "But because of the size of it right now, everybody's making that link at this point. But that is not a confirmed diagnosis or cause of this event at this point."