The gruesome scene of a dead dolphin on a New Jersey beach has sparked an investigation into its cause of death.

The marine animal was spotted on February 19, as it lay on the sands of Avalon bleeding from its eye and a gaping hole along its mouth.

Locals have claimed that sonar blasting from an offshore wind company to map the seafloor is to blame as the technology has been suggested to disrupt animals’ movements, sending them into boats or onto the shore. 

Evidence has shown that when exposed to high sonar frequencies, marine mammals swim hundreds of miles and rapidly change their depth, which can cause bleeding from the eyes and ears.

Ship tracking data showed a vessel fitted with the technology was off the coast of New Jersey around the time of the dolphin’s death. 

But experts told DailyMail.com that ‘evidence of sonar trauma is not something that would be found in an external exam.’

The gruesome scene of a dead dolphin on a New Jersey beach has sparked an investigation into its cause of death

The gruesome scene of a dead dolphin on a New Jersey beach has sparked an investigation into its cause of death

The gruesome scene of a dead dolphin on a New Jersey beach has sparked an investigation into its cause of death

Bonnie Brady, executive director at Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, told DailyMail.com that the marine animal was a short-beaked common dolphin, which can be found along the continental slope in waters between 650 to 6,500 feet deep.

She noted that it is very rare that this type of dolphin would be found close to the beach.

Jamie Steiert, an Avalon local, spotted the dead dolphin on the beach.

‘NJ conservation officer picked it up while I was there and said he was meeting up with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center,’ Steiert told DailyMail.com.

‘I hear they are already saying the dolphin was scavenged. We have been asking consistently to prove that there is no hearing damage but we are always shut out.’

The only way to determine whether a marine animal died due to sonar is to perform a necropsy and analyze the ear bone for damage.

The marine animal was spotted on February 19, as it lay on the sands of Avalon bleeding from its eye and a gaping hole along its mouth

The marine animal was spotted on February 19, as it lay on the sands of Avalon bleeding from its eye and a gaping hole along its mouth

The marine animal was spotted on February 19, as it lay on the sands of Avalon bleeding from its eye and a gaping hole along its mouth

Locals have claimed that sonar blasting from an offshore wind company to map the seafloor is to blame as the technology has been suggested to disrupt animals' movements, sending them into boats or onto the shore

Locals have claimed that sonar blasting from an offshore wind company to map the seafloor is to blame as the technology has been suggested to disrupt animals' movements, sending them into boats or onto the shore

Locals have claimed that sonar blasting from an offshore wind company to map the seafloor is to blame as the technology has been suggested to disrupt animals’ movements, sending them into boats or onto the shore

The Mexican-owned HOS Browning vessel was identified off the coast of New Jersey four days before the dolphin was found on the beach

The Mexican-owned HOS Browning vessel was identified off the coast of New Jersey four days before the dolphin was found on the beach

The Mexican-owned HOS Browning vessel was identified off the coast of New Jersey four days before the dolphin was found on the beach

The ears of a dolphin sit in their lower jaw area, but it is unclear if the hole is in the exact location. 

Steiert said the eye appeared to be missing, but the blood pouring out of the hole was fresh.

‘I was specifically curious about the bleeding area by the lower jaw. I question if it wasn’t already bleeding when it washed up and then maybe something tried scavenging,’ said Steiert.

‘I can tell you that when I got to the 75th Street beach there wasn’t anyone around except a police officer sitting in the car…and not one sign of any seagulls or other birds in the area.’ 

Justin Viezbicke, the stranding coordinator from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told DailyMail.com: ‘When carcasses float around or sit on the beach they typically get fed on by birds and the round circular hole that you see as well as the bloody eye socket is mostly likely the result of a bird eating the eye and pecking at the lower jaw.’

The images of the dolphin were shared online, sparking attention from many New Jersians, with one posting on X: ‘This is hemorrhaging caused by sonar and they know it but it is not something they check for.’

Gary Kellstrom also shared: ‘This is not normal, but happens frequently. This sonar assault must be halted. 

‘Historically, projects putting endangered species at risk have been blocked by lawsuits. What do we need to do to organize a legal action to stop these atrocities?’ 

The Mexican-owned HOS Browning vessel was identified off the coast of New Jersey four days before the dolphin was found on the beach.

HOS is working with Fugro, a Dutch company that performs geotechnical, survey and geoscience services.

Documents from the US Department of Homeland Security also noted: ‘HOS Browning, call sign XCBK8, will be conducting geotechnical survey operations, using a mobilized vibracoring system

Documents from the US Department of Homeland Security also noted: ‘HOS Browning, call sign XCBK8, will be conducting geotechnical survey operations, using a mobilized vibracoring system

Documents from the US Department of Homeland Security also noted: ‘HOS Browning, call sign XCBK8, will be conducting geotechnical survey operations, using a mobilized vibracoring system

‘Operations will occur within Lease 0541 area and have been ongoing since 2022 and continue to approximately June 30, 2024,' according to documents about the surveying.  Lease 0541 sits 27 miles from the coastline and covers 79,351 acres of water.

‘Operations will occur within Lease 0541 area and have been ongoing since 2022 and continue to approximately June 30, 2024,' according to documents about the surveying.  Lease 0541 sits 27 miles from the coastline and covers 79,351 acres of water.

‘Operations will occur within Lease 0541 area and have been ongoing since 2022 and continue to approximately June 30, 2024,’ according to documents about the surveying.  Lease 0541 sits 27 miles from the coastline and covers 79,351 acres of water.

The images of the dolphin were shared online, sparking attention from many New Jersians

The images of the dolphin were shared online, sparking attention from many New Jersians

The images of the dolphin were shared online, sparking attention from many New Jersians

Fugro is performing a third year of integrated site characterization services for Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind and is using HOS to survey the ocean floor.

‘They are doing geophysical vibracoring, which is various sonars, some seismic in nature,’ said Brady.

Documents from the US Department of Homeland Security also noted: ‘HOS Browning, call sign XCBK8, will be conducting geotechnical survey operations, using a mobilized vibracoring system.

‘Operations will occur within Lease 0541 area and have been ongoing since 2022 and continue to approximately June 30, 2024.’

Lease 0541 sits 27 miles from the coastline and covers 79,351 acres of water.

The site is east of Atlantic City, which is just 36 miles from Avalon where the dolphin was found on the beach.

However, it is unclear if the sonar blasting impacted the dolphin in any way. 

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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