🔴 The dead whale washed up on the south coast of Long Island Monday morning

🔴 It's not clear if the whale is the same one spotted 12 miles east of LBI Saturday night

🔴 Teams will study the whale on Monday

A dead whale that washed up on a Long Island beach Monday morning is the 8th to wash up on a New Jersey or New York beach since December.

Andrea Ferreira of the NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office said the dead male humpback whale washed up on Lido Beach West along the south coast of Long Island next to Rockaway Beach in Queens. The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society was sending a team to collect data and the NOAA will examine the whale more thoroughly.

It's not clear if the whale is the same humpback Ferreira said was spotted Saturday night by a survey ship 12 miles east of Long Beach Island. WPG's Harry Hurley reported that a drift analysis by NOAA fisheries and the United States Coast Guard Delaware Bay sector had the whale drifting onto LBI by Sunday.

Ferreira said the Marine Mammal Stranding Center has not seen the whale since the initial sighting.

Beached whales in New Jersey and New York in December and January
Beached whales in New Jersey and New York in December and January (Townsquare Media/NOAA)

What's to blame for the beached whales>

The beached whales have sparked debate among environmental groups about the role of the wind power industry.

On one side Clean Ocean Action and other groups plus GOP Rep. Jeff Van Drew blame ongoing wind-energy activity offshore and have called for pause until the issue can be studied.

"Never have we ever heard of six whales washing up within 33 days," said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Long Branch-based Clean Ocean Action during a press conference on Jan. 9. "We don't know how many whales may have died offshore."

On the other side are Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Association of Environmental Commission, who say suggestions that the Garden State’s plan to construct a huge wind farm out in the ocean have anything to do with the whale tragedies are unfortunate and misguided.

Jennifer Coffey, the commission's executive director, said the wind companies now doing scientific surveying off the coast have marine mammal observers on board and no whale strikes have been reported. The last two whales that washed ashore have had contusions on their heads, undoubtedly caused by collisions with shipping vessels.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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