Massachusetts Beachgoers Watch Whales From Shore - NECN
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Massachusetts Beachgoers Watch Whales From Shore

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    NEWSLETTERS

    People on Salisbury Beach in Massachusetts have had front-row seats to a whale watching spectacle this week.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017)

    Massachusetts beachgoers have had a front row seat this week to a whale watching spectacle.

    Officials say two humpback whales have been spotted very close to shore at Salisbury Beach, and they keep coming back.

    The sightings started Sunday and have happened around high tide almost every day since. Some say they were as close as 25 yards from shore.

    "They were about a quarter of the length of a football field away," Tom Saab said after seeing the whales swimming close to his oceanfront real estate office. "I've been here about 43 years and I've never seen a whale here."

    Experts at the Seacoast Science Center confirm two different humpback whales have been feeding there. They are trying to identify them, but because the water is so shallow, the whales are not able to dive, which makes it a challenge.

    The whales have been photographed at several locations on the beach. One video was taken on SurfSide's oceanfront deck, where guests were treated to a whale watching frenzy.

    Salisbury Harbormaster Ray Pike thinks there is something in the water that is making them swim so close.

    "There's a food source here with lots of fish," Pike said. "Everybody wants to get close, but it's not safe for the whales to get close."

    Pike warned the public to stay at least 150 feet away from the whales. They are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

    The harbormaster is holding a contest to name the whales. Submissions can be sent to harbormaster@salisburyma.gov.

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