The U.S Coast Guard is receiving dozens of calls regarding humpback whale sightings for almost a week. The lonely marine creature has been trapped in the Hudson River for quite a while now. Locals have reported the humpback whale sightings from the George Washington Bridge to the Statue of Liberty.
The Hudson river travels from the Adirondack Mountains through New York City, and Jersey City, and ultimately empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Several whale experts relate to the increasing number of humpback whale sightings in recent years, particularly in New York. However, even they find it a bit strange that one managed to travel up the Hudson, with a specific sighting placing the humpback whale only 20 miles away from the suburban Westchester County.
One explanation for this rare occurrence might be the improved quality of the Hudson river’s water as opposed to 35 years ago. However, the experts do not find a clear correlation between the latter and the humpback sightings.
A more plausible explanation could be that the whale was simply chasing its prey, namely a bank of Menhaden, or commonly known as bunker fish. In the past, Dennis Suszkowski, the science director of the Hudson River Foundation has seen many other humpback whales that made their way up the Hudson river. Oftentimes, the individuals were either sick or injured. However, after closely analyzing the incident, it seems that this may be only a case of disorientation.
The president of Gotham Whale, Paul Sieswerda states that after the fishing limits for Menhaden have been reduced, they were able to thrive in the clean waters of the Hudson river. As a result, this made them more prevalent and consequently easier for the humpback whales to hunt. Mr. Sieswerda is a retired curator of the New York and New England aquariums. In present, he leads multiple humpback whale watching expeditions off the coast of New York.
He says that more humpback whales have been swimming in the waters surrounding New York lately, especially since 2011. Furthermore, in 2016 alone, the humpback whale sightings have reached a peak of 106, mostly in western New York.
Not only this but over the past month other whale species have been found to swim in the Yankee waters. Among them were some of the world’s most endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale.
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