Whales spotted off the Jersey Shore as Mary Lee returns
Marine biologists are watching 3 beluga whales spotted in the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers as Mary Lee the shark returns to the Shore.
Beluga experts from the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut along with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine have been tracking the normally arctic-based animal over the past three weeks since they were first spotted in Rhode Island and making their way south.
Their location concerns Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of the Stranding Center, calling it a "death trap" for animals that have appeared there before. Schoelkopf explains to the Asbury Park Press that headwaters go south in the river, and it becomes difficult for the dolphins and whales that have been there before to navigate. He hopes that the rain of the past two days will cause the salinity of the water to decrease and the whales will head north.
The Stranding Center says boaters spotting the whales should steer clear of them and stay at least 150 feet away.
Meanwhile, Mary Lee the great white shark has made a return trip to New Jersey. According to OCEARCH, the scientific organization tracking Mary Lee and other great whites, that her last ping shows her location to be off the coast of Avalon after traveling south. The group gets a ping from the 3,500-pound shark every time her dorsal fin surfaces.
In May she traveled up the New Jersey coastline as far north as Atlantic Highlands before heading out to sea towards Long Island.
Tom Mongelli contributed to this report
- 3 beluga whales spotted in Navesink, Shrewsbury rivers / Asbury Park Press