New South Whales! Extraordinary ‘megapod’ of 150 humpbacks have lunch off Australia’s Sapphire Coast as scientists say lack of cruise ships has changed species’ ‘table manners’

- Advertisement -


  • A pod with dozens of humpbacks was observed across the Sapphire Coast, plunging down in a highly synchronized process called bubble-net feeding.
  • Whales dive deep, then blow bubbles to the surface to confuse the fish above
  • A similarly massive pod was reported off the coast last September, suggesting that the slowdown of the pandemic may make the water more to their liking.
  • It is also possible that they are simply resuming a behavior that was common before the extinction of humpback whales.

- Advertisement -

A giant ‘megapod’ along with dozens of humpback whales was spied in the waters off the Sapphire Coast in New South Wales, Australia.

Humpbacks are fairly solitary creatures, usually gathering in packs of only two to 15, and even then temporarily.

advertisement

A tour boat filmed near Bermagui up to 150 whales Last week, all feeding through a highly synchronized process called bubble-net feeding, when majestic marine mammals dive deep and blow air bubbles, confusing the fish above.

This is only the second time such a huge congregation has been filmed in Australia – the first was around the same time and place last year.

- Advertisement -

Humpback expert Vanessa Pirota said, ‘There is something going on that we as scientists need to investigate to learn more about our wonderfully beautiful marine environment. Australian Broadcasting Company.

It is possible that sperm whale super swarms have formed there for two consecutive September as the waters have been cleared of cruise ships and other maritime traffic during the pandemic.

“It was first documented in Australian waters last year, and in addition, bubble-net feeding behavior was also documented last year,” Pirotta said.

scroll down for video

A giant ‘megapod’ of 150 humpback whales has been spotted near Barmagui in New South Wales, Australia. Organisms usually live in small pods of 15 or fewer.

Simon Miller of Sapphire Coastal Adventures, who witnessed the real family picnic, told ABC, ‘The whales work closely together to turn the bait into a really tight-knit ball.’

Miller said, ‘At one stage they started to drive it towards the boat, and when it got to the boat it stopped and the whales were hissing in it, so we’re very lucky to be able to get out there and put it can see.

Pirotta said the whales were plunging down in preparation for their migration back to Antarctica.

“If it’s a critical area, they might be using Australian waters as an additional feeding ground for Antarctica to help top up that supply,” she told ABC.

Bubble-net feeding is a synchronized technique in which whales dive deep and blow bubbles as they rise, rattling the fish above them

Bubble-net feeding is a synchronized technique in which whales dive deep and blow bubbles as they rise, rattling the fish above them

The global recession caused by the pandemic has had a noticeable impact on the animal kingdom: humpback whale communication specialist Michelle Fournet reports humpbacks in Glacier Bay, Alaska, after March 2020, when the traffic of cruise ships, tour boats and recreational boaters The pace slowed down. Down.

In the summer of 2019, about 66 percent of humpback whales call foret ‘whoop’.

In 2020 – when marine traffic was down 44 percent and average noise levels were three times lower than normal – the frequency of whale whispers dropped by less than 50 percent, according to Hakai Magazine.

Whip rates were similar to those recorded in the 1970s, before Glacier Bay became such a popular tourist destination.

Fournet thinks that for Glacier Bay humpbacks, whips are ‘a way to announce their presence’ to give them their own kind of social distancing while feeding.

Experts say the slowdown in ocean traffic in Alaska's Glacier Bay has seen changes in humpback whale communication.  Whales have been making less 'whip' noises to announce their presence since the pandemic began

Experts say the slowdown in ocean traffic in Alaska’s Glacier Bay has seen changes in humpback whale communication. Whales have been making less ‘whip’ noises to announce their presence since the pandemic began

A similar large super-pod had also emerged on the Sapphire Coast last September.  Experts are not sure why they are congregating in such unusually large numbers.  Image: Closeup of a humpback whale near Forster, New South Wales, Australia

A similar large super-pod had also emerged on the Sapphire Coast last September. Experts are not sure why they are congregating in such unusually large numbers. Image: Closeup of a humpback whale near Forster, New South Wales, Australia

Amorina Kingdon writes in Hakai, ‘If this interpretation is correct, the prevalence of whips in non-pandemic times suggests that cruise ship noise can affect humpbacks.

ABC reported that traffic on the Sapphire Coast has also slowed significantly during the pandemic, although Miller continues to get his boat out on the water without passengers.

Humpback super-pods began to be reported elsewhere before the pandemic – including a 200-whale gathering off the coast of South Africa in 2017 – so it is possible that their formation is not related to the lockdown.

Coinciding with increases in humpback populations, all have been observed within the past decade.

Before the 1966 moratorium, the species was hunted to near extinction, killing 90 percent of humpbacks.

Sperm-whales may have become super swarms in New South Wales for two consecutive September as cruise ships and other sea traffic have disappeared during the pandemic.  It is also possible that they were simply exhibiting specific behavior that stopped when the whales were hunted almost to extinction.  Pictured: A pod of humpback whale lunge feed in Monterey Bay, California

Sperm-whales may have become super swarms in New South Wales for two consecutive September as cruise ships and other sea traffic have disappeared during the pandemic. It is also possible that they were simply exhibiting specific behavior that stopped when the whales were hunted almost to extinction. Pictured: A pod of humpback whale lunge feed in Monterey Bay, California

Their numbers continued to increase after they were made a protected species in 1996 with an estimated 80,000 animals worldwide.

Sarah Chodosh wrote, ‘Maybe humpbacks were always this kind of social, and there weren’t enough of them for us to notice. popular Science.

Pirotta said that Australia’s humpback population alone is now somewhere around 35,000. More than

She told ABC, ‘We may be seeing the behaviors that were there now before they re-emerge.

.

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories