Dolphins continue cruising Long Island’s North Shore
It appears the dolphins sighted last week on the North Shore have no plans to leave just yet.
But the group of about 150 to 200 dolphins first spotted Wednesday in Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington and Northport has now split into two groups. One group headed for City Island in the Bronx while the others were seen in the Long Island Sound near Bayville.
One Oyster Bay town official confirmed Sunday he saw the dolphins about a half-mile off the coast, near Oak Neck Point and Rocky Point in Bayville. He said boaters near the mammals were told to observe them from a distance and to proceed with caution.
Charles Bowman, president of The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, said the dolphins are hunting and appeared normal. He said they likely have split into multiple groups to continue looking for herring.
Once this happens, getting an accurate count can be difficult. “Half of them may be underwater and half will be coming up for air,” he said, noting that many sightings are anecdotal, coming from recreational boaters.
He said the groups would have no problem staying in touch with each other. “Dolphins can communicate from a long distance,” he said, even from over 10 miles away.
Aside from the spectacular sight of the creatures, the presence of the dolphins could be a positive sign. Bowman said that if the dolphins are hunting in the Sound, it could mean that the water is cleaner. He added that the dolphins could potentially remain around Long Island waters for weeks.
“It all depends on the food,” Bowman said. “As long as there is food around, they are happy.”
BY ERIK BADIA