Primary Threats to Whales off the Coast of New Jersey

The compounding threats of increased vessel traffic, changing ocean conditions, and shifting prey availability have put whales at greater risk of lethal interactions with fishing gear and humans.
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Vessel Strikes
Whales that spend significant time near the water’s surface are more vulnerable to vessel strikes, especially with vessels operating at high speeds and when visibility is low

Climate Change
Changing temperatures changes timing of important environmental cues that help whales with navigation and feeding. Changing ocean conditions also makes prey availability more unpredictable. For example, humpback whales have been following their prey to busy shipping and recreational waters.

Entanglement in fishing gear is one of the primary causes of mortality for whales. It can also lead to reduced fitness and impact reproduction.