Look: Humpback Whale Spotted Near George Washington Bridge

First Posted: Nov 21, 2016 04:20 AM EST

Spectators have spotted a humpback whale swimming up the Hudson River near the George Washington Bridge on Nov. 18.

In a tweet, the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police posted a photo of a whale. Also, the Coast Guard released safety broadcasts to alert boaters of the whale's presence. On Nov. 17, a whale was also spotted near the Statue of Liberty.

"This is the first time it's been documented and there's no one else keeping these kinds of records," said Paul Sieswerda, founder of Gotham Whale Watch, told North Jersey. Sieswerda added that he is concerned that the whale might be hit by a ship since the Hudson River is a congested area.

"We're hoping the whale is in good shape and is just chasing fish," he said.

Scientists have come up with reasons why the whale swam up the Hudson River. They believe that the whale spotted near the GWB was likely led there by food. This is because the footage of the whale shows it "lunge feeding."

"That's when they come up and break the surface and consume these bait balls of menhaden," Sieswerda told NJ. The whale might be chasing menhaden or bunker fish up the river. Sometimes, due to their feeding practices, whales end up in unexpected places and this could pose serious threats to their health.

The whale was not spotted on the mornings of Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 19 and Nov. 20).

Over the past years, there was an increase in humpback whale sightings in New York area waters during this time of the year. This is because the number of bunker fish has dramatically increased due to reduction in fishing and better water quality in the area.

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