Humpback Whales Back in NYC Waters for the First Time in 100 Years

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For the first time in a century, humpback whales have returned to the waters of New York City. Starting in 2010 the number of whales have been reliably increasing leading to a new tourist activity – whale watching.

When you’re thinking about going whale watching in the U.S., you’re probably considering a trip to the West Coast, California or even Alaska. That might be about to change. For the first time in a century, humpback whales have returned to the waters of New York harbor.

We have seen the occasional whale in the waters of New York, but when it happens we’ve always thought of it as somewhat of a rarity. Our minds immediately skip back to November 2016 when a whale spotted around liberty island dominated the local news cycle. Fast forward 14 months, humpback whales are so regularly spotted in our waters a whole new tourist industry has emerged in the city, whale watching.

The first sightings began around 2010 and numbers have steadily increased every year, sightings rising a massive 500% between 2011 and 2012.

Sources: Esri, GEBCO, NOAA, National Geographic, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, Geonames.org
Sources: Esri, GEBCO, NOAA, National Geographic, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, Geonames.org

The animals head towards New York to feast on schools herring, sand eels and marine crustaceans that live off of our coast before migrating south to Caribbean waters for the winter.

One tour group has been taking passengers out to see these majestic creatures, Gotham Whale. Paul Sieswerda, president and founder of Gotham Whale, along with his team of researchers and scientists painstakingly document all the whales that come into New York Harbor. Since the company was founded in 2011, 75 whales have been documented by the group.

Featured image source [Wikipedia]

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