Cheers to new research from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that reveals the endangered ocean giants known as fin whales live in New York City’s waters year-round. The massive creatures—they’re 80 feet long and can weigh as much as 180,000 pounds—were once considered a rare sight in the summer months.

Fin whales became endangered due to past commercial whale killing and boat collisions.

Like many New Yorkers, the whales are here for romance — and food, according to a story in the Gothamist. Fin whales feast on sand eels and small silvery fish called menhaden.

Another thing to cheer—the plentiful food supply for these mammoth sea creatures indicates that habitats are improving along the New York Bight, which stretches along the Atlantic Coast from Montauk to Cape May, New Jersey.

The recovery of the area’s coastal wildlife is the result of aggressive environmental legislation, such as the Clean Water Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

“The important part of the work that we do is to generate important new information and understanding about these large, charismatic, iconic marine mammals that are off the coast of New York so that we can inform practices and policies and efforts to protect them in what’s one of the busiest waterways in the world,” said Howard Rosenbaum, coauthor of the research.

We couldn’t agree more.

It’s despicable Iceland does not protect fin whales. Last August Iceland gave the green light for commercial fin whale killing to resume, after a temporary ban introduced earlier in 2023 year came to an end. Although Norway and Japan also allow commercial whale killing, only Iceland permits the killing of fin whales. The country’s main market for fin whale meat is Japan.

Those are three countries we won’t be visiting anytime soon.