HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — It was the summer of the whale this year on Long Island Sound, where fishermen and other boaters reveled in the return of the marine mammals after a long hiatus.
The unexpected sightings began in May, when three belugas were spotted off Fairfield, Connecticut. A minke whale was seen off Norwalk later in May. And there have been several humpback sightings in the western part of the sound in recent weeks.
Joe Schnierlein (SHNEER’-lyn), research and university liaison for The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, says whales haven’t been seen in the western part of the sound since 1993. Sightings also have been uncommon in the eastern part, with the last confirmed sightings in 2005 and 2009.
Schnierlein believes the whales were attracted by a big increase in bait fish.
This story has been corrected to show that the last whale sightings in the western Long Island Sound were in 1993 and the last sightings in the eastern sound were in 2005 and 2009.