BELMAR - Humpback whale sightings are on the rise at the Jersey Shore, but with their increased presence also comes a warning tonight for boaters.
The marine mammals migrate this time of year from the Caribbean to Canada. They travel near the Jersey Shore to feed on bunker.
Even though beachgoers are getting a great view, boaters are being urged to stay clear of them because they can do some damage.
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A father and daughter from Manalapan have a whale of a story and the video to prove it.
Howie and Paige Allen didn't catch any striped bass as they fished from their kayak off Lavallette, but they did catch a rare view of a humpback whale from just 10 feet away.
"He was so close to us we could literally see his blowhole, his spine, everything," says Howie Allen.
D.J. Field, a mate on the Miss Belmar Princess party boat, says it's been a feast for the eyes almost daily along the Jersey Shore. "Anywhere you see bunker," he says. "They've been pretty tight to the beach also this year."
NOAA is reporting that more whales have been struck by ships. Boaters are being reminded it's the law to stay 1,000 feet from them or face steep fines.