Zach Piller and his father were fishing off of the Jersey Shore on Wednesday, October 12 when they had a surprise visitor breach the water and hit the side of their boat.
A humpback whale appeared making a huge splash out of the water and the young man’s reaction will make your day. Piller captured the “epic whale footage” and posted it to his public Instagram account.
They had perfect conditions for a day out on the boat with calm waters and the temperature hitting above 70 degrees. According to NBC News, the 23-year-old was fishing on an 18-foot Starcraft built by his father which they dock at a marina in Belmar.
Eric Otjen, president of zoological operations at SeaWorld San Diego told NBC News that it is not unusual for a humpback whale to feed on small fish near the shore, however, breaching near a boat is. He even joked that you even have a better chance of winning the lottery but either way, it was something they’ll never forget.
In recent years, whale sightings have increased dramatically, especially along the Jersey Shore. Although we all would love to see one or even a pod while looking out to the ocean, threats to the marine mammals include entanglement in fishing line, plastic pollution, and ship noise.
The on-going hypothesis stated by Save Coastal Wildlife is that the “abundance and variety of food resources” is a main factor as to why humpback whales are attracted to the Jersey Shore.
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