When vessels collide with marine wildlife, the impact can cause significant injury and mortality. Gotham Whale collects sighting data of marine mammals in the Western New York Bight and has documented first hand whales before and after ship strikes, also referred to as vessel collisions/strikes. Recreational and commercial vessel traffic in and around the East Coast’s busiest port can be dangerous for our returning marine mammal population.
We hope to raise awareness about the danger of ship strikes and reduce how often they happen.
Humans aren’t the only visitors that come to New York City to eat! Our research team tracks the growing number of Humpback whales feeding in and around New York Harbor. Though lunge feeding is an impressive behavior to observe when whale watching, spending time near the surface makes whales vulnerable to ship strikes.
Ship strikes and entanglement are the two largest threats facing North Atlantic right whales, of which fewer than 336 individuals remain. This critically endangered species is known to migrate through our area. Please help us spread awareness of this issue with this line of conversation starting “Hey! We’re Swimmin’ Here” apparel.
While boating, here are some tips to protect marine mammals from vessel collisions:
- Always be on the lookout for blows, dorsal fins, and flukes! If wildlife is spotted, reduce speed and put it in neutral.
- Keeping your speed to 10 knots or less can reduce likelihood and severity of injury.
- Stay 100 yards away from marine mammals, 500 yards away from a North Atlantic right whale