Drone captures massive humpback
On Monday an adult humpback whale was swimming unusually close to the New Jersey shore in Manasquan when it was captured by a drone.
“It’s very unusual to see them get that close,” said Karl Vilacoba, communications director for Monnouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, according to NJ.com. “You can see that the wave was breaking over it.”
Tom Lozinski, who shoots for the Urban Coast Institute captured the massive humpback whale with his drone.
Only three days ago another humpback whale was seen in Monmouth County waters, up the Shrewsbury River, between Sea Bright and Highlands.
The whale that was seen off Manasquan might have been feeding on bunker, or menhaden which forms an important part of their diet. In recent years, more whales have been spotted close to the shorelines in the Northeast.
“They’ve been getting closer and closer, but certainly in this last decade they’ve really rebounded off the Jersey Shore, off New York waters,” he said. “There are a lot of people looking into this right now, and the thinking is there’s more menhaden — there’s a little bay fish, some people call them bunker. For the humpbacks, that’s a great dinner.”
Swimmers, boaters, and other watersports people should stay well clear of these massive mammals, warns Vilacoba.
“They’re massive; you should really keep a healthy distance,” he said. Running into one, he said, “would be like getting hit by a truck.”
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Photo: Tom Lozinski