Contact: Michelle Peal
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New Jersey LCV Responds to Recent Whale Stranding Off Coast of New Jersey

TRENTON – The following is a statement from Allison McLeod, Policy Director New Jersey LCV, in response to recent whale deaths and the development of offshore wind in New Jersey.

“As a former professional marine mammal observer with a background in marine science and biology, I am alarmed and deeply concerned with the recent whale strandings on our shores - as we all should be. We need to base our decision making on science and data, not emotions or assumptions. Professionals from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center have indicated the juvenile humpback in Atlantic City had a head injury, likely suffered from a vessel strike. The vessels on this offshore wind survey, which are equipped with marine mammal observers, have not reported any such incidents. It is therefore irresponsible to assign blame to offshore wind energy development before a routine full investigation is completed,” said Allison McLeod, New Jersey LCV Policy Director. “New Jersey LCV continues to advocate for responsible offshore wind development that is in full compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act. We are confident that the professionals involved will determine an accurate cause of death for each of the mammals, as ship strikes and entanglements from abandoned fishing gear continue to be a concern for our marine life. We also thank the many scientific and emergency management teams that responded for their dedication to protecting our resources.”