Humpback whale possibly entangled in Raritan Bay, officials report

BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | MonroeNow | Jul 2, 2018

The Coast Guard and New Jersey State Police continue to enforce a safety zone around a humpback whale that they believe is entangled in the Raritan Bay, the agency announced over the weekend.

The whale was first discovered by a Good Samaritan who reported it to the authorities. Since its discovery, the Coast Guard and the State Police have remained at the location to prevent any ships from getting too close.

At 2:30 p.m., according to a release from the Coast Guard, the whale had submerged but was not relocated after 30 minutes of searching.

To help find the whale, the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries are asking boaters to be alert for the whale and issued a safety reminder that ships should stay 100 yards away from whales. Humpback whales can reach a length of 60 feet and can weigh around 40 tons.

“Safeguarding our waterways and marine ecosystem is the foundation to all of the Coast Guard’s missions – this includes the marine life that inhabits the waters of New York and New Jersey,” said Capt. Jason Tama, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York. “The Coast Guard will continue to monitor any reports of whales in our waters and will promptly engage with our state and federal partners, to ensure the safety of our maritime environment.”

Whale sightings should be reported to the NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal Stranding and Entanglement Hotline at 866-755-NOAA. Any sighting can also be reported to Coast Guard Sector New York at 718-354-4353.