Some Wiscasset residents and guests could also be relieved to be taught they’ll, in truth, consider their eyes. That was certainly a humpback whale seen swimming within the Sheepscot River close to Wiscasset on Aug. 24.
The uncommon sighting attracted consideration from state and regional media retailers and prompted a flurry of curiosity from native photographers, who captured dozens of images and movies of the humpback whale.
Wiscasset City Supervisor Dennis Simmons didn’t fairly consider it till he noticed the humpback whale together with his personal eyes Thursday afternoon.
“I used to be residence and Ron Lalli [wastewater department superintendent] despatched me an image and mentioned ‘there’s a whale out right here,’” Simmons mentioned. “I mentioned ‘no, can’t be,’ so I received within the automotive and went down there. Proper by the water plant, certain sufficient, it was a whale.”
Simmons mentioned it was exhausting to make out what he was initially, nevertheless it turned clear when the animal got here as much as breathe. Simmons mentioned he watched the whale from his vantage level for no less than half-hour earlier than he left the realm.
The animal gave the impression to be making its means again downriver as Simmons watched, and it was clearly no hurry, he mentioned. Simmons suggested individuals within the space to make the most of the uncommon alternative to see a whale this far inland.
The Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed the whale was a younger humpback whale.
Though whales are sometimes seen close to the mouth of the Sheepscot River, that is the primary time a humpback whale has been seen this far upriver, in line with NOAA. It appeared the younger humpback was feeding on pogies, a essential meals supply for whales.
Observers for Marine Mammals of Maine monitoring the younger humpback whale within the Sheepscot River earlier within the week, in line with a Fb submit from the group.
“Our response group has noticed energetic feeding conduct together with different regular behaviors from this particular person,” the group mentioned within the Aug. 25 submit. “We’re pleased to report that as a result of this whale seems wholesome and is presently following the plentiful pogie congregations no intervention is required.
“Nonetheless, there may be rising concern for each the whale, and the general public as a result of quantity of boater exercise,” the group mentioned in its submit. “Whereas this whale’s presence is thrilling and a tremendous sight we hope the general public will get the chance to take pleasure in, we urge individuals to understand this whale safely and respectfully by sustaining no less than 100 toes of distance.”
Marine Mammals of Maine’s submit goes on to state humpback whales are protected below the Marine Mammal Safety Act. Beneath federal tips, it’s unlawful to intentionally work together or intervene with any marine mammal anyplace in United States waters.
Federal tips counsel viewing a humpback whale at a minimal distance of no less than 100 toes. Navigating in an space with whales ought to be completed slowly at a no-wake pace, and engines ought to be put in impartial when whales strategy to go.
The rules are established to reduce the danger of harassment or encroaching on the animals in a means that modifications their conduct or interferes with their actions, the Marine Mammals of Maine submit states, including that even appropriately following the rules is not any assure that dangerous interactions is not going to happen.
This story seems by a media partnership with The Lincoln County Information.