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Friday, July 28, 2017

Norwalk Aquarium: Stay Clear of Humpbacks

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk said today’s sighting of a humpback whale off of Westport’s Compo Beach was the third year in a row a humpback has been seen in Long Island Sound after an absence of many years.

WestportNow.com Image
The humpback off of Compo Beach today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Brad Berk for WestportNow.com

Officials also warned boaters not to go chasing after the animal as it likely larger than most people’s boats.

“Boaters are not used to dealing with big 60-foot animals in the western end of Long Island sound,” said Dave Sigworth of the Aquarium.

“So we want them to be aware, these animals are out there, they may sometimes breach, they’re certainly going to come up for air.”

Whales fall under the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, so boaters are not supposed to get any closer than 100 feet.

“We want you to cut your engine, drop your sails, just coast, get your camera out, film it, photograph it, and enjoy it, but please don’t get too close to it,” Sigworth said.

The likely reason the humpback whales are seen in the western end of Long Island Sound is food, he said.

“There are a lot of bait fish, smaller food fish in the sound, the last couple of summers and we think that’s what drawing them in and also keeping them around,” Sigworth said.

Sigworth said one of the three humpbacks that turned up in the Sound two years ago was killed “by blunt force trauma,” probably in a collision with a sailboat.

If someone has videos or photos, please forward the images to Dave Hudson, John Lenzycki and Dave Sigworth: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Photos or video of the underside of the whale’s tail would be especially helpful, th Aquarium said. The pattern on the underside of every humpback’s tail is unique, and seeing it may help to identify the whale.

For more information about whales in Long Island Sound, click HERE.



Posted 07/28/17 at 01:34 PM  Permalink


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