Sixth Annual Long Island Natural History Conference













Whales of New York City and the Return of the Humpback Whale
Paul L. Sieswerda, President and CEO, Gotham Whale

Since 2011 Gotham Whale has been documenting the return of humpback whales to the waters around New York City.  Our work aboard the American Princess and through Citizen Science has provided clues as to why they are coming back, the locations where they are appearing, and the potential issues facing them as they return to one of the world’s most concentrated areas of human activity.

After retiring in 2009 from a long career as Curator at both the New England and New York Aquariums, Paul L. Sieswerda was drawn to studying the whales that are returning to the waters around New York City. Sieswerda founded the 501c3 organization Gotham Whale to study, educate about, and advocate for the marine mammals around New York City.  Gotham Whale maintains a database of marine mammal sightings from observations aboard the American Princess, a whale watch boat out of Rockaway, Queens, and other Citizen Science sources.  The database includes the New York City Humpback Whale Catalog that identifies individual whales from photographs of their flukes.  Gotham Whale tracks species, locations, and behaviors to gain insight into the whales traveling through the New York City region.