SEA BRIGHT: DOLPHIN STAY RAISES CONCERNS

Dolphin longfield Dec 2015 4A stand-up paddler got close to the dolphin in the Shrewsbury River between Sea Bright and Rumson last week. Marine experts say humans and boats should keep away from the animal.  (Photo by Scott Longfield. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03Without much public notice, a lone bottlenose dolphin has been plying the Shrewsbury River for the past seven months, according to wildlife advocates who are growing concerned about its safety as temperatures drop and its food supply diminishes.

As it has in the past, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries unit regards the dolphin’s presence as a not unusual, and said the animal appears to be healthy.

But Bob Schoelkopf, founder and director of the independent Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, expressed frustration that NOAA hasn’t done anything to guide the dolphin northward through the strait that leads into Sandy Hook Bay, and that colder temperatures make such an effort more dangerous for humans.

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