🐳 A whale was thought to have washed up on the beach in Sandy Hook on Tuesday

🐳 12 whales have stranded along the east coast since March

🐳 Just one has beached itself at a New Jersey beach this year

MIDDLETOWN — Pictures showed a whale on a New Jersey beach but it had not stranded there as many wrongly believed.

The 44-foot sei whale had gotten caught Saturday on the bow of a cruise ship in the Port of Brooklyn, according to NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Andrea Gomez.

It was towed to the Gateway National Recreation Center Tuesday afternoon in Sandy Hook on Tuesday where a necropsy was performed before the whale was buried.  The Marine Mammal Stranding Center assisted.

"The cause of death for the whale has not yet been determined. At this time, we don't know the cause of death for this whale. Samples were collected and will be sent for histopathologic analysis. The samples collected will help biologists determine if the vessel interaction occurred pre or post-mortem," Gomez said.

Only one other whale has beached in New Jersey in 2024.

Whales have been reported in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, two off New York State,  Rhode Island, South Carolina and four in Virginia since March.

ALSO READ: Report: New Jersey's energy plan built on 'magical thinking'

Dolphin found stranded in North Wildwood 2/26/24
Dolphin found stranded in North Wildwood 2/26/24 (Dorothy Prior via Save the Dolphins and Whales NJ)

Dolphins found off New Jersey three days in a row

The Marine Mammal Stranding Center reported six more strandings on Jersey Shore beaches that have taken place in the past week.

Dolphins were found in three days in a row in Avalon on April 29, the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge on April 30 and two on May 1 in Barnegat Light & Island Beach, according to the list. A dolphin washed up in Holgate on Long Beach Island along with a a porpoise in Surf City on May 4.

The additions bring the number of dolphin strandings in 2024 to 17 and six porpoises. Only one whale was found stranded at Brant Beach

The pace of deaths compared to 2023 is slower than 2024. By May 11, 2023 there were 29 dolphin strandings at Jersey Shore beaches. Only two whales had been found by May 22, 2023.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

Worst 30 public schools in New Jersey

These are the 30 lowest-ranking public and charter schools in New Jersey based on the 2022-23 summative ratings provided by the state Department of Education's annual NJ School Performance Report. The schools are listed in descending order, with the lowest rating being zero.

Gallery Credit: Rick Rickman

Has the time come to break NJ into separate states?

Should New Jersey be split up into multiple states? Here's what that might look like.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

UPDATE 2024: All NJ stores that sell legal cannabis

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, since the first NJ adult use marijuana sales in April 2022.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

More From 94.5 PST