|NJ Dolphin Seminars
NOAA Fisheries Service
|Updated April 13, 2009
Protected Species Division
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930-2276
Dolphin Carcass Recovered in Navesink River
spending the early part of the summer as a group in the Shrewsbury
River, the dolphins routinely formed two groups throughout the late
summer and into the fall, one staying primarily in the Shrewsbury and
the other in the Navesink near the Oceanic Bridge. dolphin 15 usually
affliated with the Navesink group.
Saturday, April 11th, at approximately 6pm, a decomposed dolphin
carcass was found floating close to shore near the Oceanic Bridge in
the Navesink River.
- The carcass was found by Rumson Police Department.
local stranding network organization (Marine Mammal Stranding Center)
responded and conducted a necropsy on Sunday, April 12th. Samples
collected included teeth and muscle. The stomach was empty,
except for a small hook which was collected for further analysis.
- As with the carcass found on April 7th, it is too
soon to tell if this individual found on April 11th is from the group
of 16 dolphins. The carcass is too decomposed to make an accurate
match with the photo-id catalogue, which uses dorsal fins and visible
body markings to identify and track individual animals.
is also too soon to tell when or where this dolphin may have
died. Carcasses from different species of marine life (dolphins,
turtles, sharks, etc.,) have floated into the area before, so it is
possible this animal died outside of Sandy Hook Bay and was brought
into the Bay with the currents and tides.
Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program is making
arrangements for samples to be analyzed by the Smithsonian’s National
Museum of Natural History to determine age, sex, population stock and
possible cause of death. Tissue samples will also be tested by
the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center.
last documented dolphins in the river system on January 13, 2009.
At that time, there were only 5 animals from the original group of 16
remaining in the area (8 dolphins were never resighted, location and
condition unknown, and 3 dolphins stranded between September and
December 2008). A local restaurant owner and his staff observed
multiple dolphins leaving the area on January 15, 2009, right before
the river froze over.