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The Jersey Devil

New Jersey Modern Sharks

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The Jersey Devil

Hey everyone,

I recently walked on a beach near Keansburg, New Jersey, and came across an unusually large amount of dead animals. There were mostly crabs (blue crabs and spider crabs), baby shells, and jellyfish lying on the beach. However, I came across three small sharks. Does anyone know what factors might be responsible for the dead animals, such as rising water temperatures? If anyone knows what type of shark (I believe it is the smooth dogfish, Mustelus canis) and jellyfish that is, please comment.

 

Thanks everyone,

Joseph

 

Jellyfish:

IMG_5694.JPG

 

Shark #1 body (with a fish behind it)

IMG_5695.JPG

 

Shark #1 dentition:

IMG_5696.JPG

 

Shark #2 remains:

IMG_5697.JPG

 

Shark #2 dentition:

IMG_5698.JPG

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Brett Breakin' Rocks
24 minutes ago, josephstrizhak said:

Hey everyone,

I recently walked on a beach near Keansburg, New Jersey, and came across an unusually large amount of dead animals. There were mostly crabs (blue crabs and spider crabs), baby shells, and jellyfish lying on the beach. However, I came across three small sharks. Does anyone know what factors might be responsible for the dead animals, such as rising water temperatures? If anyone knows what type of shark (I believe it is the smooth dogfish, Mustelus canis) and jellyfish that is, please comment.

 

Thanks everyone,

Joseph

Hi Joseph,

 

  I'd imagine it could possibly almost be anything from pollutants in the water to by-catch being tossed.  I would also suspect that New Jersey is not immune to Dead Zones caused by algal blooms pushed by excess runoff of Nitrates and Phosphates in the water.  That can start a chain reaction that will deplete the oxygen.

 

http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/gulf-of-mexico-dead-zone-is-largest-ever-measured

 

  In the Gulf of Mexico this dead zone is huge .... funny thing is in Alabama where my family owns a condo they will call an abundance of animal life in the water and on the shore  .. bountiful amounts of crabs and fish, flounder washing into the shallows of Mobile Bay a jubilee !! .. but I think they are caused by the animals riding the edge of another type of dead zone trying to survive. Driven by water temps and low oxygen levels.

 

https://coast.noaa.gov/data/estuaries/pdf/the-jubilee-phenomenon-teacher-guide.pdf

 

Not much of a Jubilee for the animal life .....

 

Cheers,

Brett

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caldigger

As I recall New Jersy had a reputation for having human discard in the water.

Find any medical waste in the vacentity?

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Al Dente

I think your shark ID is correct. Looks like Mustelus. I have a step brother that lives near the beach in NJ. He has told me there is frequently die offs of different animals. Same thing happens here in North Carolina. Two years ago there were hundreds of burrfish washed up on the beach. Seen pictures of starfish die offs where hundreds are washed up.

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WhodamanHD

Maybe it isn’t connected but I’ve seen a lot more dead things on Chesapeake bay beaches than normal. I’ve heard this is the hottest July in a while.

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The Jersey Devil
9 hours ago, Brett Breakin' Rocks said:

Hi Joseph,

 

  I'd imagine it could possibly almost be anything from pollutants in the water to by-catch being tossed.  I would also suspect that New Jersey is not immune to Dead Zones caused by algal blooms pushed by excess runoff of Nitrates and Phosphates in the water.  That can start a chain reaction that will deplete the oxygen.

 

http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/gulf-of-mexico-dead-zone-is-largest-ever-measured

 

  In the Gulf of Mexico this dead zone is huge .... funny thing is in Alabama where my family owns a condo they will call an abundance of animal life in the water and on the shore  .. bountiful amounts of crabs and fish, flounder washing into the shallows of Mobile Bay a jubilee !! .. but I think they are caused by the animals riding the edge of another type of dead zone trying to survive. Driven by water temps and low oxygen levels.

 

https://coast.noaa.gov/data/estuaries/pdf/the-jubilee-phenomenon-teacher-guide.pdf

 

Not much of a Jubilee for the animal life .....

 

Cheers,

Brett

 

Thank you Brett! I had no idea a "Jubilee" could occur. The beach I came to did have a lot of animals on it, but instead they were sadly dead.

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The Jersey Devil
7 hours ago, caldigger said:

As I recall New Jersy had a reputation for having human discard in the water.

Find any medical waste in the vacentity?

 

No, no medical waste. But a lot of random fruits for some reason...

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The Jersey Devil
7 hours ago, Al Dente said:

I think your shark ID is correct. Looks like Mustelus. I have a step brother that lives near the beach in NJ. He has told me there is frequently die offs of different animals. Same thing happens here in North Carolina. Two years ago there were hundreds of burrfish washed up on the beach. Seen pictures of starfish die offs where hundreds are washed up.

 

That is really sad. Never imagined a starfish or burrfish die off could happen.

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The Jersey Devil
6 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

Maybe it isn’t connected but I’ve seen a lot more dead things on Chesapeake bay beaches than normal. I’ve heard this is the hottest July in a while.

 

Yeah, definitely hotter than usual in Jersey as well.

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caldigger

We seem to have seasons where there will be lines of dead sand crabs or jellies along the surf line by the millions.

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frankh8147

We did have a few crazy storms (but brief) recently and I've found that after them, a lot of creatures tend to wash up. Hopefully that's the case...

 

I'm not by any means saying 'it's no big deal' however. Are you at the beach a lot? I'm not sure who I could put you in touch with but if you continue to see this more and on a regular basis I'm sure we could come up with something. 

 

Off the top of my head, I believe Island Beach State Park does get involved with environmental activities (if my memory serves me well).

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Coco

Hi,

 

I am OK with Mustelus but I can't tell you more because I don't know the american fauna.

 

Coco

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Plax

weather channel says that the North Atlantic ocean temp is cooler than average this year. This was in reference to the dearth of hurricanes so far.

  Local conditions vary of course. All the other reasons above are possible. The jellyfish seem to be dead on the strand frequently. They may just be tidal strandings because of the animals poor locomotion.

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