No Connection Between Atlantic Whale Deaths and Offshore Wind

Staff from area stranding network teams conduct a necropsy, or postmortem examination, of a stranded humpback whale in Brigantine, New Jersey on January 15, 2023. (Marine Mammal Stranding Center)

National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito issued the following statement in response to recent reporting attempting to link offshore wind development operations to whale deaths along the Atlantic Coast:

“Claims linking the offshore wind industry to these deaths are misleading and not supported by the facts and evidence. As detailed in a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Atlantic Coast has been experiencing an unusual whale mortality event since at least 2016, well before offshore wind development was initiated in these areas. The unfortunate reality of the current situation, according to NOAA, is that the leading causes of the whale deaths are entanglements and vessel strikes: ‘The preliminary cause of mortality, serious injury, and morbidity (sublethal injury and illness) in most of these whales is from rope entanglements or vessel strikes.’

“Offshore wind is on the pathway to becoming a major source of clean energy for all Americans, drawing billions of dollars in investment to the U.S. and creating thousands of new jobs. NOIA members have been working closely with relevant federal agencies to ensure that projects are developed in a way that protects and preserves marine wildlife.”

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