Scientist solves the mysterious aggregation of orcas near Bremer Bay

2021-04-24T13:07:23-05:00April 22nd, 2021|Categories: Species News|Tags: , , , |
orcas, killer whales, dolphins

Orcas aggregate near Bremer Bay in large numbers.

Every year, between late Austral Spring and early Autumn, a natural phenomenon takes place near Bremer Bay in the western Great Australian Bight. Over one hundred orcas congregate over the continental slope near the head of the Hood Canyon.

Using hydrodynamic model, Jochen Kämpf has been able to model the flow of particulate organic matter (POM) in the area. It seems that the currents causes upwelling of fluxes POM and the Hood Canyon acts as a bottleneck – concentrating POM in this region. The abundance of POM acts as a driver for a localised food web, attracting and supporting plentiful prey species for the orcas.

The study highlights the unique nature and importance of the area.

The paper “Modelling of physical drivers of a large feeding aggregation of killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the western Great Australian Bight, Australia” by Jochen Kämpf, May 2021 is published in Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers available through the ELSEVIER.

by Andrew Pollard


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