A young male humpback whale that washed ashore in Sea Isle, New Jersey Friday afternoon likely died from human interaction, according to officials with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
A necropsy completed Saturday showed that the approximately 33-foot-whale was entangled in a commercial fishing line due to the scarring on its body. Bob Scholekopf, the founding director of the MMSC, said the whale had a small amount of food in its stomach and likely wasn’t eating much because of its injury.
Officials say the 20-ton whale was extremely emaciated which they believe led to its death. While the whale was also hit by a ship, Scholekopf believes that happened after the whale had already died. He also believes the whale had been in the water for several days before it washed ashore near 20th Street in Sea Isle.
The whale was buried Saturday after the necropsy.