Incredibly rare ‘megapod’ with more than 100 whump whales surrounding the boat off the coast of Australia

The whales circled the boat near Bermagui, about 236 miles (380 kilometers) from Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, as they ate a large ball of bait – a tightly packed school of fish. swimming in a spherical shape.

Simon Millar, owner of Sapphire Coastal Adventures, was leading a team training exercise with his crew when they spotted the whales on Sept. 9. In the video, the whales can be seen slapping their tails in the ocean , trying to risk the fish.

Millar said it was only the second time a massive gathering of whales – known as a “megapod” – had been seen in Australian waters.

“It’s incredible,” he told CNN. “We saw whales swimming all around. They were just somewhere. We were very lucky.

“Sight and sound are really one thing.”

The Australian coast is alive with flocks of whales each year between April and November as they swim north from the Antarctic, where they spend their summers feeding, in sub-tropical waters. , where they married and had children, according to Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.

Their annual migration can cover up to 6,214 miles (10,000 kilometers), and attracts thousands of visitors to coastal towns such as Byron Bay, Hervey Bay and Eden. The majority of humpbacks migrate back to the South Sea from September to November, the department said.

Millar said the whales he saw this year were feeding more, possibly due to a lack of food.

“We are depleting their food source in Antarctica by overfishing,” he said.

David M. Baker, Associate Professor at the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the University of Hong Kong, said people are “competing with (whales) directly for food,” and we are changing where food is available “in through global climate change. ”

“The world’s fisheries have depleted the very things that whales eat, such as studying fish and krill and their recovery can be severe,” he said. “Climate change is also detrimental to the recovery of several species, including critically endangered right whales in the North Atlantic.”

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