Dolphins dying in droves in N.J.
The state Division of Fish and Wildlife is working with the nonprofit Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine and has offered the use of conservation officers and state boats to recover dead or dying dolphins.
State officials said this week it appears the deaths are part of a natural disease cycle and not related to water quality, which they say has been high this summer.
The latest flurry of deaths began July 9, and necropsies have so far confirmed four died of pneumonia.
Morbillivirus, a naturally occurring virus linked to the deaths of 90 dolphins in 1987 off New Jersey, has been confirmed in one of the recovered dolphins, state officials said. Results are pending on others.
Federal officials are also looking into the apparently larger-than-normal number of dolphin deaths occurring in other mid-Atlantic states, including in Virgina, where 44 dolphin corpses have washed ashore this year, New Jersey officials said.
The public is advised not to approach dead or dying dolphins.