Welcome to the Jersey Shore! Humpback whale sightings on the rise
Drone footage captured an adult humpback whale swimming closer than usual to the shore in Manasquan on Monday, possibly the second whale to make itself known on the Jersey Shore.
A humpback whale was spotted in the Shrewsbury River near the Route 36 bridge about 9:25 a.m. Friday. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center said on its Facebook page it considers the whale to be healthy despite a "glancing blow" after the whale surfaced in front of the boat.
The second whale was spotted in the surf zone off Manasquan on Monday by Thomas Lozinski, who posted about it on his Twitter account. He said the footage was taken just after sunrise near the Brielle Road Beach.
Karl Vilacoba of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University told New Jersey 101.5 there have been many sightings along the shore including Long Branch, Asbury Park and Seaside Park but isn't sure if it's all the same animal.
"Humpback sightings have become a regular occurrence over the last few years, to the delight of many shore-goers. The reason for their resurgence in Jersey Shore waters is the subject of scientific research right now but many attribute it to a surge in menhaden – aka bunker — which is a key food source for humpbacks – and a general improvement in the region’s water quality in recent years," Vilacoba said.
The Marine Mammal Stranding Center has been tracking the whale seen in the Shrewsbury River and said it isn't sure if it still has a net wrapped around its snout.
They also said that footage of a whale being hit by a boat near Brigantine over the weekend is the same video from the Shrewsbury River.
The center asked anyone spotting the whale to contact them at 609-266-0538
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