Humpback whale spotted off of Ocean City
It has been a busy summer for whales around New Jersey and now there’s been a new sighting. A man fishing with his dad off of Ocean City thought he was going to get some pretty cool video of a pod of dolphins swimming along when another ocean beast made an appearance: a humpback whale breached right in front of him!
The Cherry Hill man, Steven Wallace, told ABC 6 Philadelphia he noticed a school of bunker running and knew that the dolphins would be active so he kept his camera trained on the fish when the humpback whale breached about 30-40 yards away from their boat. He told ABC 6 “I just knew to focus the camera on that group of fish - at the very least the dolphins are going to go crazy - and then a huge humpback whale breaches out of the group of bunker fish." He also told the station that he was surprised that the whale was so close to the shore, "I still can't believe that was a mile off the Ocean City beach," he said. "You think that's out deep in the ocean, not right off the Great Egg Harbor Inlet." It's like National Geographic right in front of your eyes."
Maybe he shouldn’t have been surprised considering all the whale sightings there have been in New Jersey this summer. There was the whale that jumped into a boat off Seaside Park, the one spotted by a drone near Manasquan, and one in the Shrewsbury River.
Karl Vilacoba of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University told NJ1015.com’s Dan Alexander “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."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.