NOAA: Watch out for whales in Long Island Sound

7.23 whale LIS_311730

(WTNH) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is warning boaters to keep a close eye out for whales in Long Island Sound.Boaters and fishermen reported sightings of humpback whales in the far western stretch of Long Island Sound over the past couple of days.NOAA believes there to be multiple humpbacks close to shore feeding on small fish.The Administration wants boaters to stay 100 feet away from the whales for your safety and theirs.The close proximity of a boat to a whale may cause it to stop feeding, according to NOAA.All whales in U.S. waters are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which makes it illegal to harm, injure, kill, chase or harass whales or any other marine mammal.Harassment includes any activity that results in changes to the whales’ natural behaviors, such as feeding.Penalties include fines of up to $20,000 and up to one year in prison.Whales are also protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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