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Whales popping up in Long Island Sound for second year

NORWALK–For the second year in a row, whales have been spotted in the Long Island Sound, with sightings all the way in near Fairfield County. But why? Acc...
whale pic

NORWALK--For the second year in a row, whales have been spotted in the Long Island Sound, with sightings all the way in near Fairfield County. But why?

According to Joe Schnierlein, with the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, "They’re here for food. This is a smorgasbord for them."

He's referring to a fish called menhaden, also known as bunker.

“Right now, the entire western end of the Sound is loaded with them,” Schnierlein explained.

And so these young whales, which usually stay in the ocean in migration paths away from the Sound, have come in closer to land.

While having whales back in the Sound is mostly a good thing, there are some concerns. The Sound is not normally known for whales, but it is known for having boats, meaning an increased need for careful boating to protect the whales.

According to Schnierlein, "It’s really going  to take an awareness on boaters' parts."

The rules? Boats have to stay 100 yards away from humpbacks and 300 yards for other whales. Learn more here, and read a press release about the sightings here.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has sent notes to boaters, and NOAA is on the lookout for whale sightings.

In the meantime, the Maritime Aquarium wants to research the whales' migration and wants to hear from whale watchers.