Maybe they got bored just shuttling back and forth in the Shrewsbury River for three weeks.
The dolphin pod that became a tourist attraction in Sea Bright has moved, for now, into the Navesink River west of the Oceanic Bridge, about three miles away.
Last night, they were feasting opposite the Rumson-Fair Haven border, where boaters say huge schools of bunkerfish a favorite of he Atlantic bottlenose dolphin have been seen in recent weeks, much as they have been in the Shrewsbury.
redbankgreen, which was the first to report the presence of the dolphins in the inland waters, also broke the news of their relocation, after a bridge operator told us they’d passed under the Oceanic Monday morning, heading toward Red Bank.
“You were right,” Teri Frady, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told us late yesterday afternoon, saying that kayakers who volunteer with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine had confirmed our latest report.
The change in locale would appear to raise anew concerns that appeared to ease after the July 4 holiday: that boaters and jet skiers, unaware of the dolphins’ presence, might zoom through the pod and injure or kill one or more members. A number of boaters we spoke to yesterday were unaware the dolphins were in the Navesink.
Operating a vessel within 50 yards of the dolphins may be considered harassment, a federal crime subject to fines of up to $10,000. Over the holiday, the law enforcement arm of NOAA issued eight citations to watercraft operators, Frady said. New Jersey Fish and Game officials issued “numerous” citations for alleged violations of no-wake rules in the Shrewsbury, she said.
We saw a state police boat in the vicinity of the dolphins at around 8p last night. Just a handful of recreational vessels followed the pod, mostly keep a proper distance, with some boat operators warning others to slow down as they approached the area where the dolphins were feeding.