The real reason why you’re suddenly seeing whales in N.J. and N.Y. waters

menhadenWhales. They’ve been seemingly everywhere. Breaching just past the sandbars in Asbury Park. Swimming past groups of surfers in Rockaway Beach. Besides inspiring a chorus of oohs and aahs, the increase in sightings is adding a blubbery new wrinkle to a raging debate over a far smaller fish: the Atlantic menhaden. It’s the menhaden, also known as “bunker” — clumsy, multidinous, slow swimming virtual floating hamburgers — that those whales are chasing. But the story of why Atlantic menhaden is suddenly so plentiful is a complicated — and controversial — one, pitting environmentalists and anglers against commercial fishing operations, with both sides claiming science is on their side. Read the story here 12:33