By Michelle Durham

BRIGANTINE, NJ (CBS) – Several studies show human noise is disturbing the whales and if you think this is a West Coast issue, guess again. It’s happening off the Jersey coast too.

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“If you scuba dive in any area around here, when you’re under water, you’ll even hear the ship traffic going by and you’ll hear the propellers, so you can imagine whales who have so much more sensitive hearing then we do,” says Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammel Stranding Center in Brigantine. “They are affected all over the world where there is freighters coming by. We even see strandings here, ship strikes, at least one or two a year, off New Jersey that may be attributed to sound.”

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Schoelkopt says it’s a constant noise that can be turned off. “It’s a stressful situation when you have a large amount of traffic overhead. It’s also deadly to some of the younger whales who have no idea how to avoid those ships and they come up to the surface to see what the noise is and they become struck by those ships.”

He says unfortunately there is not much that can be done to provide relief to the whales.

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