Coastal tour boat operators in Australia were treated to a rare sight last week as more than 100 humpback whales pounced on a swirling ball of baitfish. The massive aggregation or megapod of whales was spotted by Simon Miller, owner of Sapphire Coastal Adventures, and his team on Thursday off Bermagui in New South Wales on Australia’s southeast coast.
“The big smell, fish everywhere, whales rushing in. Now the whales outside were banging their tails, gathering the bait together, and then the whales would come up and sort of burst all over the place,” Miller said. to the Reuters news agency. “It’s a pretty amazing thing.”
He and his team spotted whales – and captured their behavior in a stunning drone video – in an area of water that humpback whales frequent this time of year as they return to Antarctica from deeper waters. warm north, where they raise their young. .
“Last year, exactly the same week, we had a massive gathering of humpback whales,” Miller told Reuters. “What it is, is where you get a megapod and this is where you have over 20 whales at the time that feed on a particular area.”
But in nearly two decades of cruising the waters around Bermagui, Miller said he had never seen such a group of marine mammals until last year.
“We’ve been seeing whales feeding on the south coast for maybe 18, 19 years since I did, 19. But we’ve never seen them feeding in such huge aggregations before,” he said. -he declares. .