BERMAGUI, Australia / CNN – A â€œmegapodâ€ of more than 100 humpback whales passed by a boat off the coast of Australia – an incredibly rare event that has only been caught once before in the country’s waters. And it was filmed.
The whales swam near a boat near Bermagui, about 236 miles from Sydney, NSW, as they fed on a large ball of bait – a school of fish swimming in a spherical form.
Simon Millar, owner of Sapphire Coastal Adventures, was leading a team training exercise with his staff when they spotted the whales on September 9. In the video, hundreds of whales can be seen slapping their tails in the ocean, trying to round up the fish.
Millar said the event – called a ‘megapod’ – had only been seen once in Australian waters before.
â€œIt was amazing,â€ he said. â€œWe saw the whales swimming all around the area. They were just everywhere. We were very lucky.
“The sight and the sound were really something.”
The Australian coast comes alive with flocks of whales each year between April and November as they swim north from Antarctica, where they spend their summers foraging, to the subtropical waters, where they mate and give birth, according to Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.
Millar said the whales he had seen this year were feeding much more, possibly due to a food shortage.
“We are depleting their food source in Antarctica through overfishing,” he said.
David M. Baker, associate professor at the Swire Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, said that humans “compete with (whales) directly for food,” and that we are changing where the food is available “by changing the global climate.” “
â€œGlobal fisheries are depleting the very things whales eat, like schools of fish and krill, and could seriously affect their recovery,â€ he said. â€œClimate change is also affecting the recovery of some species, including the critically endangered right whales in the North Atlantic. “
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