Six more dolphins have been found dead on New Jersey beaches in recent days, bringing the total to 52 since July 9.
Officials say severely decomposed dolphins washed up Saturday in Barnegat Light and Long Beach Township, both in Ocean County, and in Upper Township in Cape May County. That came one day after dolphins washed up in Seaside Heights in Ocean County, Longport in Atlantic County and Stone Harbor in Cape May County,
State officials have been working with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine to determine why so many dolphins are dying.
The federal government has also been investigating the cause of dolphin deaths up and down the Eastern Seaboard this summer, exploring many possible causes such as disease, changes in the environment and human activities.
Officials say four of the 52 died of pneumonia.
Morbillivirus, a naturally occurring virus linked to the deaths of 90 dolphins in 1987 off New Jersey, has been confirmed in one of the recovered dolphins.
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