Stunning images capture rare “megapod” of humpback whales

Coastal tour boat operators in Australia had been handled to a rare spectacle final week as greater than 100 humpback whales set upon a swirling ball of baitfish. The mass aggregation or megapod of whales was noticed by Simon Miller, proprietor of Sapphire Coastal Adventures, and his staff on Thursday off the coast of Bermagui in New South Wales, on Australia’s southeast coast.

An aerial picture from video shot by the Sapphire Coastal Adventures tour boat operator exhibits a “megapod” of greater than 100 humpback whales feeding on baitfish off the coast of Bermagui, in New South Wales state, southeast Australia, on September 8, 2021.

Sapphire Coastal Adventures/Reuters

“The big smell, fish everywhere, whales busting up through it. Now the whales on the outside were slapping their tails, sorting of herding the bait in together and then the whales coming up and sort of busting up all over the place,” Miller instructed the Reuters information company. “It’s pretty incredible stuff.”

He and his staff noticed the whales — and captured their conduct in beautiful drone video — in a patch of water that humpbacks frequent round this time of yr as they make their return to Antarctica from the hotter waters to the north, the place they elevate their younger.

“Last year, this exact same week, we had a mass aggregation of humpback whales,” Miller instructed Reuters. “What that is, is where you get a megapod and it’s where you’ve got more than 20 whales at the time feeding on a particular area.”

But in virtually twenty years of plying waters round Bermagui, Miller mentioned he’d by no means seen such a grouping of the ocean mammals till final yr.

A humpback whale with its mouth broad open to catch baitfish because it breaches is seen off the coast of Bermagui, New South Wales, Australia, September 9, 2021, in a picture supplied by the Sapphire Coastal Adventures tour firm.

Sapphire Coastal Adventures/Reuters

“We’ve been witnessing whales feeding on the south coast for maybe, like, 18, 19 years, since I’ve been doing it, 19 years. But we’ve never witnessed them feeding in such huge aggregations before,” he mentioned.