Thursday, May 23, 2002

Whale spotted off Prouts Neck

Published in the Current

A whale has been feeding off Prouts Neck for the past several days. Local residents alerted the Marine Animal Lifeline on May 17, when two humpback whales were spotted.

Since that day, only one has been seen at a time, though MAL President Greg Jakush said they might be taking turns feeding in an area right offshore of the yacht club.

Police said some residents are concerned that it might get stranded in shallow water, and Jakush said others are concerned “just about having a 40-foot whale that close.”

Jakush said he and others are monitoring the situation, but said the whale does not appear to be in trouble in any way. He said he does not know what it might be feeding on, but said birds are also fishing in the area.

“A lot of the locals are calling us every four or five hours,” Jakush said, keeping them posted on where the whale is. To allow the whale to swim without getting tangled in lines, “the lobstermen have pulled their buoys out of the way to help out,” he said.

He said whales feeding in close to shore may be more common than people realize, but they are not always spotted. Last year, Jakush said, there were whales in close to shore at Biddeford Pool.