US marine mammal experts have hit back at allegations by offshore wind opponents that the sector’s site surveying activity is responsible for a recent spate of whale strandings on New York and New Jersey coastlines.

Nine whales – seven humpback and two sperm whales – have been discovered washed up on area beaches since 5 December, sparking public concern that their deaths are related to geophysical studies being carried out byu project developers’ survey vessels.

Whales that stranded in the past month “have all washed up during intense geotechnical surveying of wind farm leases off of New Jersey”, Meghan Lapp, general manager of Rhode Island-based fish processor Seafreeze Shoreside, told Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.