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June 1st, 2017. JERSEY CITY – Kevin Chen of Bayonne was out fishing in New York Harbor on Wednesday when he saw something odd in the distance. So he steered his boat towards it. This was his first time fishing this season, and the last thing he expected was to come upon a dead whale floating in the water.
It had been dead for a while, he figured, because it had already started to stink.
“I never saw anything like it, only on TV and the internet,” he said later. “I didn’t expect to find it there.”
The location was south of Liberty State Park and north of Global Terminals and the Liberty Cruise Port.
Chen called the Bayonne Health Department, leaving a message.
While not a common event, whales do come into New York Harbor from time to time, said Jersey City Councilman Richard Boggiano.
And they also die here.
Last year, a dead whale was struck by an outgoing ship, and later resurfaced in the Hudson River.
Live whales apparently are more abundant than the general public believes, and a not-for-profit in New York City even offers whale watching tours during warmer seasons.
There were a number of sightings in 2014, and several dead whales found in the area in 2015.
“The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for dead whales,” Boggiano said. “They bring them over to the Caven Point (Army) base where they dissect them to see what might have killed them.”
When contacted, Jersey City officials said they will be notifying the city’s Department of Health, which will begin the process of recovering the whale.