If you haven’t been following the Dead Whale Beat out of New Jersey and New York, then you might not have noticed that on Monday the 8th dead whale since December washed ashore, a humpback.
Whales, of course, played a pivotal role in the drama that unfolded last year between federal regulators and Maine’s lobstering community. Federal regulators wanted to regulate lobstering into oblivion because they believed that lobster trap lines are whale-killers.
Lobstermen responded by pointing to the scientific evidence that showed the scientists with the federal government are wrong. The affray ended in a stalemate of sorts when Maine’s congressional delegation was able to slip a temporary moratorium on new lobster regulations into a massive spending bill.
But in the backdrop of the NOAA v. Lobstermen conversation was always the question of whether offshore wind development, supported by the environmentalists at NOAA who pushed lobstering regulations, might also harm whales and their habitat. Reporting by Bloomberg revealed that NOAA scientists privately expressed concerns about wind-power’s threat to whales.
Activists in New Jersey crying foul over a major wind-power development supported by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Association of Environmental Commission. Two of the whales that washed ashore reportedly had contusions on their heads, raising the possibility of a ship-strike with one of the surveying vessels deployed by wind-power developers.