I wish Pete Seeger were around for this story. The folksinger spent many years sailing his sloop the “Clearwater” up and down the Hudson River to draw attention to pollution. Today the river is in good enough shape to attract a whale chasing its dinner.
Recently, New York Times reporter Katie Rogers interviewed Dr. Rachel Dubroff, whose apartment overlooks the Hudson. She writes that the first time Dubroff spotted a whale swimming outside her living room window, “she didn’t quite believe the sighting was real,” but news reports in November confirmed that “the Hudson River has a resident humpback.”
Continues Rogers, “The Hudson, as scenic as it is, does not scream ‘whale habitat.’ But experts say cleanup and conservation efforts have led to cleaner waters and an abundance of fish. …
“A whale appearing in the Hudson is very rare, [Paul Sieswerda, the president of Gotham Whale, an organization that tracks marine life around the city] said, which is why he thinks this one is a solo traveler. But the whale still faces significant danger because it is swimming in traffic-laden waters. …
“ ‘When you have whales chasing the bunker [menhaden], and fishermen chasing the stripers that chase the bunker, accidental interactions between whales and vessels can occur,’ Jeff Ray, a deputy special agent with NOAA’s law enforcement division,” added.
I hope everyone using the river will watch out for whales and try to coexist. It would be great if the whale came back after the usual typical retreat to warmer breeding grounds in winter.
More at the New York Times, here.
Art: Amy Hamilton
A humpback whale like the one spotted in New York’s Hudson River in November 2016.