In a fascinating incident, a super pod of over 80 whales was recorded during a feeding frenzy at the Sapphire Coast of Australia’s New South Wales. The mass congregation of the whales was only the second such recorded incident in the Australian waters and breathtaking visuals of the occurrence were recorded on camera by scientists and wildlife tour operators Sapphire Coastal Adventure. According to ABC News, a similar super pod was recorded at the very same spot last year.
The latest development has evoked keen interest from researchers who are seeing this as an opportunity to learn more about the marine environment and find out the exact reason behind this occurrence. Speaking about it, whale expert Dr Vanessa Pirotta said while it’s still not clear as to why the mammals returned to the same spot for the second year in a row. The footage of the incident holds great scientific value for marine research. She added that it was a chance to find out if there was something significant going on environmentally.
Simon Miller, an executive of the tour company that recorded the clip, said that whales were feeding on baitfish and worked collaboratively to herd the bait into a tight-knit ball. He expressed pleasure over getting a chance to watch the visuals. A large part of the frenzy around the super pod in the scientific community was because of the visuals of the whale’s bubble net feeding.
Talking about this bubble net feeding process, Dr Pirtotta explained how the animals blow bubbles around their prey to catch them. She said that all the fishes that they are feeding on are scrambling to ball up tightly and then the whales come from underneath the water and engulf them by opening their throat like a slinky for the younger generation.
Dr Pirotta added that the visuals may help researchers to determine whether Sapphire Coast is emerging as a significant area and if it was a spot of food break for whales before they go back to Antarctica.