Shortly after it went into the water off New York, our acoustic-monitoring buoy (aka Melville) picked up the sounds of a fin whale.
The first confirmed detection was made on Monday, July 4th, only 12 days after the buoy was placed 22 miles south of Fire Island.
Fin whales are the second largest whale species on Earth, growing up to 70 feet in length and weighing as many tons.
They were hunted for much of the last century—approximately 1,500 animals are estimated to be in the waters off the U.S.'s east coast today. According to government reports, these suffer from high mortality rates due to fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes.
Following that first detection, the buoy has continued to pick up fin whale sounds over many days over the last month.
Listen to vocalizations from a fin whale. In reality, the sounds are so low they can't be heard by humans. These have been be sped up to make them audible.