An unprecedented amount of dead whales have been washing up on the Atlantic Coast of the United States amid the construction of massive offshore wind farms.
The state of New Jersey saw an increase in whale fatalities after it began constructing an offshore wind farm, which conservationists say is impacting whale navigation.
Earlier this week, thousands gathered at New Jersey’s Point Pleasant beach to protest offshore wind projects following the spike in whale deaths.
The Guardian reported that a ninth humpback whale was found dead in Manasquan, New Jersey, last week:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) fisheries division, which investigates such whale deaths, has called them “unusual mortality events.”
As organizers at Sunday’s protest argued for a moratorium on wind turbines in the area, others say there is no evidence to support claims that wind turbines are the cause of the whale deaths.
Federal scientists argue there is o evidence that offshore wind farms have anything to do with the beached whales. However, environmentalist groups and some local lawmakers insist the
wind turbines are to blame.
Unusual mortality events
Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tracked 184 “unusual mortality events” for Humpback whales since 2016 – around 25 per year. Still, there have been 22 large whales stranded in the region in the last few months alone, including 15 humpbacks.
Conservation group Clean Ocean Action argues offshore wind energy projects are to blame for the whale deaths.
“This alarming number of deaths is unprecedented in the last half-century,” the group stated, adding, “The only unique factor from previous years is the excessive scope, scale, and magnitude of offshore wind powerplant activity in the region.”
The secretary of the Center for Sustainable Fisheries, Meghan Lapp, said that she does not doubt that the wind energy projects are to blame.
“What I think is important for the public to understand is that this is not unprecedented when it comes to offshore wind. In the U.K., during the height of their offshore wind activity in 2018, 1,000 whales died and washed up on U.K. beaches. and when people started to make the connection between offshore wind and dead whales, the government, the media and the offshore wind industry quashed it and people began to think, ‘Well, this is just normal.’ It is not normal,” Lapp continued..
Lapp added that Taiwanese environmental groups raised awareness about the problem in their own country after whales began washing up “dead and dead.”
“One of them was still alive. It was swimming in circles because it was deaf and that, I do believe, is what is happening here.” she added.
“NOAA is not taking any internal samples of the ears of these animals to determine if the offshore wind activity is causing this because a deaf whale is a dead whale,” Lapp continued.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said, “marine mammals, including whales, use underwater sound as their primary way to communicate and access their environment.
“Sound is critical for communication and important for navigation, finding food, and avoiding predators,” the NOAA added.
Lapp warned that more whale deaths could occur due to the thousands of turbines planned for the U.S. East Coast.
“They are going geotechnical surveying of the ocean floor. They have equipment that is emitting intense sound at the floor of the ocean because they want to tell, 100 feet deep into the sea floor, what kind of sediment it is so they can drive pilings,” she said.
“As these survey boats are going, there have been over 100 offshore wind survey vessels approved by NOAA to harass marine mammals of over 10,000 survey days on the East Coast of the U.S,” Lapp added.
During an appearance on Hannity, Marjorie Tayor Greene said: “I don’t know why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) isn’t dressed in white and crying for the dead whales that keep washing up on the beach from wind farms that are being placed all over the ocean.”
“People are calling the alarms over how [wind farms] are not only killing unknown thousands of birds species but also causing whales to beach themselves at record numbers,” Greene said.