Bremer killer whale season starts

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

It felt like an eternity for south coast filmmaker Dave Riggs since his last visit to the world-renowned Bremer Canyon eight months ago.

Conditions were favourable for Riggs and the crew aboard the Naturaliste Charters vessel when they left the Bremer Bay wharf on Wednesday for the first expedition of 2017.

There were reports of more than 24 orcas, otherwise known as killer whales, sighted last week ,and Riggs said he was exhilarated about the coming season.

But it’s not just killer whales Riggs will be on the lookout for.

“At this time of year a group of 70-100 (long-finned pilot whales) move through the area very tightly packed,” he said.

“They are very vocal and sound like a flock of galahs or parrots.

“We think that’s to warn the killer whales (they) are coming through and there are a lot of them.

“At this time of year (the pilot whales) have very small calves with them, so that’s why they group together.”

Riggs said the orcas’ diet would change as the season progressed, beginning with beaked whales and then targeting sperm whale calves during their migration.

The filmmaker hopes to continue to highlight the significance of the Bremer Canyon, which he describes as the south coast’s Jurassic Park.

“We are trying to unravel how things works (and) what oceanographic features are important to this ecosystem,” he said.

“What it all boils down to is we are trying to keep a spotlight on this location, because I firmly believe we have to ensure it is still functioning so our grandkids can experience what we experience today.”

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