New Jersey

Dead Whale, Struck by Ship Days Ago, Resurfaces in Hudson River

A dead whale struck by a ship several days ago in New Jersey has apparently resurfaced in the Hudson River — it's one of a number that have been spotted around New York City over the past few days. 

The 30-foot whale was first spotted under the bow of a cargo ship in Newark Bay by a pilot boat driver a couple of days ago, according to Bob Schoelkopf of Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. The ship appeared to have struck the whale, the pilot boat driver confirmed. 

The whale apparently sank, then floated to the surface in the Hudson River off Jersey City Wednesday, according to Schoelkopf. 

On Wednesday, crews were approaching the whale to try to remove it, Chopper 4 over the scene shows. 

Schoelkopf said he thinks it may be a fin whale, not a humpback, but couldn't tell precisely from Chopper 4's aerial shot. 

Paul Seaswerda, who runs Gotham Whale, a nonprofit that studies marine life around the city and offers whale watching tours, says that whales are being drawn back to the city, partly because of climate change.

"We have whales around here and we have them in abundance," Seaswerda said. "We see whales with the skyline in the background and the whales in the foreground. It's just amazing." 

Some whales can be found just 200 feet from shore. They've been seen near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where ships enter the busiest port on the Atlantic Seaboard. It's a boon for whale watchers, but it can spell disaster for the whales.

"In 2014 we had more whales than in the previous three years put together," Seaswerda said. "If there's any kind of adjustments that have to be made to so that humans and whales can live happily together, those measures can be taken." 

Marine scientists say 2015 was the worst year so far for whales in the tri-state area; nine whales were reportedly killed, mostly by ship strikes. NOAA put out a warning Tuesday, telling people to watch out for whales in the water. 

Brian Thompson contributed to this report 

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