Rare Beaked Whale Sighting Off Cape May Comes With Warning
Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center has posted photos of a rare Sowerby's Beaked Whale that was spotted on June 19 about 80 miles off the coast of Cape May.
The Research Center posted the photos to tell the story of seeing this rare ocean find and to give a dire warning.
Because of what's happening presently in South Jersey, you might assume it's related to windmills or wind farms from Denmark. It's not.
Take a closer look at the other image in the photo. That is a Mylar balloon.
It was upsetting to see this remarkable species 80 miles offshore in 7500ft of water so close to something that could be prevented...a Graduation balloon. This is why we take the time to collect floating Mylar balloons from our waterways with our #CleanOceanInitiative!
Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center used their Facebook post to ask that we stop using Mylar balloons and balloons in general, opting instead for some other party decoration.
They also suggest spreading the word, which we have now done.
Here's some more info about the fascinating Sowerby's Beaked Whale. Population estimates for this species of beaked whale are poorly understood because of their rarity.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Sowerby's Beaked Whale "have a small-to-medium-sized body with a very long, slender beak relative to other beaked whales, as well as a bulge on the forehead area. The beak often emerges at a steep angle when surfacing. They have a small, wide-based, slightly hooked dorsal fin located about two-thirds down their back".
They usually prefer the northern Atlantic Ocean because of its colder waters, but they are occasionally seen as far south and the mid-Atlantic, like off the coast of Cape May, NJ.