(Tribune News Service) — A dead humpback whale was seen floating about 4 or 5 miles off the New York- New Jersey coastline Monday, federal officials confirmed.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday afternoon that earlier in the day the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society, which responds to marine mammal strandings and rescues in New York, received a report from the United States Coast Guard of “an unidentified whale carcass” just south of the Ambrose Channel.

The channel, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is the principal shipping route in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey.

“Both (U.S. Coast Guard) Sector NY and (the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation) deployed assets to attempt to relocate and further document the animal, and it was determined to be a humpback whale,” Andrea Gomez, a NOAA spokeswoman, said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Reports of another dead whale come as at least ten have landed on beaches in New York or New Jersey since Dec. 5. It’s unclear how many whales have been reported floating out on the ocean in that span.

“Teams will continue to monitor the situation, but due to human safety concerns with impending weather, a response may not be possible,” Gomez added at about 3 p.m. Monday.

A snowstorm is just hours away and winter storm warnings have been issued in several New Jersey counties.

Officials from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society could not immediately be reached Monday.

Gov. Phil Murphy said last week no evidence has linked the whale deaths to offshore wind survey work despite claims from some officials and groups. The governor said pre-construction of offshore wind turbines would continue as federal officials investigated further.

The cause of death of the whale seen floating near Ambrose Channel on Monday was not released. NOAA officials continue to point to entanglement, vessel strikes and the impacts of climate change as the likely causes for whales continuing wash ashore.

The following whales have washed up since Dec. 5 in New Jersey or New York, according to officials:

• A 12-foot infant sperm whale in Keansburg on Dec. 5

• A humpback whale in Amagansett, N.Y., on Dec. 6

• A juvenile humpback whale on Strathmere Beach on Dec. 10

• A female sperm in Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y., on Dec. 12

• A 30-foot female humpback whale in Atlantic City on Dec. 23

• A 30-foot female humpback whale in Atlantic City on Jan. 7

• A 20- to 25- foot long sub-adult humpback whale on Jan. 12 in Brigantine

• A 40-foot adult whale on Jan. 30 near the south coast of Long Island

• A 35-foot female juvenile humpback whale reported Feb. 13 near Whiting Avenue Beach in Manasquan

• A 25-foot minke whale in Rockaway Beach in Queens, N.Y., on Feb. 17

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Steven Rodas may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @stevenrodasnj.

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(U.S. Coast Guard)

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