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Killer whales...


Lalani

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http://www.orangebeach.ws/2008/News/2008-1..._of_Mexico.html

December 3, 2008 - Orange Beach, AL - There are plenty of fishermen who make their way into the Gulf of Mexico during the fall months in search of trophy yellowfin tuna. That was also the game plan for the crew of the Shady Lady out of Zeke's Marina in Orange Beach, Alabama.

 

Capt. Eddie Hall and boat owner Shawn Clemens had already experienced one day of successful tuna fishing. The Shady Lady had caught three yellowfin tuna weighing over 100 lbs. the day before and they wanted to introduce their friends to some big-time tuna action.

 

During the first night of fishing, Eddie Hall recalled that the fishing was terrible. There were no tuna bites and he knew that based on his observations the fish should have been knocking their baits out of the water. On the previous trip, they had only traveled about 90 miles out and done extremely well. Now, they were making an about-face at 140 miles and were headed back home with nothing to show.

 

The location of the Shady Lady was approximately 3 miles south of the Horn Mountain Rig. At 92 miles, when the sun came up, the answers to their questions literally began to appear. At 9:00 a.m. Friday morning on Halloween Day October 31st. The tuna were scarce and scattered, and for good reason. The crew of the Shady Lady couldn't believe that they were actually witnessing - four pods of killer whales feeding on their schools of tuna! According to Eddie Hall, there were four distinct pods of whales and each pod was feeding independently of the others. In the smallest pod there were twenty-five to thirty killer whales feeding on tuna. Each of the other three pods had as many as one-hundred members. A pod of whales could cover as much as an acre of water at any time, depending on how many animals surfaced at a time. The crew of the Shady Lady followed the whales for well over an hour and documented every aspect of what they were seeing with video and radio reports to neighboring crew boats that surrounded the Horn Mountain Rig. Eddie said the video was rather easy to shoot since some of the whales were as close as one foot from the side of the boat! The captain observed that these animals were not shy or startled by the boat and seemed to be checking things out as they continued to feed.

The crew noticed that the pods remained in family groups, and when two pods approached one another, they did not intermingle but reversed course in another direction.

 

Capt. Hall stated that he has seen numerous accounts of other species of whales that are common to the Gulf of Mexico. He said it is not uncommon to see sperm whales and their calves as they migrate through the Gulf Stream waters. He has also seen the rare accounts of whale sharks, but this is the first time in 13 years of fishing that he has ever seen a killer whale in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Eddie Hall, "My crew didn't see just one killer whale, they saw well over two-hundred."

Gary Finch concurred with Eddie Hall's comment, and stated that after 30 years of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico he had never seen or heard of killer whales entering the warm gulf waters. He said the video that was presented from the Shady Lady has since been authenticated as being video proof that these animals were definitely killer whales and they are recognized as being in gulf waters. He went on to say that, "It is impressive footage and represents an event that everyone has expressed an interest in seeing."

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Wow! That would have been totally worth going out there and not catching a single fish. Being able to watch Killer Whales in the Gulf of Mexico, phenomenal! I suppose they must have traveled along South America around the tip and up the coast to get here. I know Killer Whales are not normally sighted in the Pacific Ocean but can be found in Argentina. I wonder what species they were and if they are there to stay or just visiting. Great find Lani really cool stuff.

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wow...

 

didn't know they went that far anymore

What do you mean anymore?

 

 

 

Thats amazing footage, nature is so beautiful and never ceases to amaze me...

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They're an awwsome spectical when your in a 17 foot Boston Whaler and a 25 foot Killer Whale pops up 10" from your boat. That's here in the pacific NW though. Never heard of them very south of San Fran CA before. :huh:

 

Wow! That would have been totally worth going out there and not catching a single fish. Being able to watch Killer Whales in the Gulf of Mexico, phenomenal! I suppose they must have traveled along South America around the tip and up the coast to get here. I know Killer Whales are not normally sighted in the Pacific Ocean but can be found in Argentina. I wonder what species they were and if they are there to stay or just visiting. Great find Lani really cool stuff.

:huh:

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What do you mean anymore?

 

 

 

Thats amazing footage, nature is so beautiful and never ceases to amaze me...

 

 

I mean paleontologists have found bones of killer whales from the fairly recent past along the Gulf of Mexico, there were sightings of them recorded in the 1800s and prior but, as far as I know, they haven't been seen in the GOM since maybe the early 1900s.

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I wonder if the total number of Orca is increasing or they're food supply is diminishing?

 

 

May not be either. Some orca groups are just very transient, and may have just been passing through.

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True this could be a case of them just following a tuna run that happened to swerve it's way into the Gulf. If you notice the backs of these orcas have a shadow right behind the dorsal fin this is called a "saddle patch" which marks them as a Offshore orcas. Since they were eating Tuna and not seals, Transient orcas tend to eat primarily sea mammals and don't eat fish. However, who knows these could be a genetic offshoot from the 3 known classes of orcas. Offshore orcas were only discovered in 1988.

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True this could be a case of them just following a tuna run that happened to swerve it's way into the Gulf. If you notice the backs of these orcas have a shadow right behind the dorsal fin this is called a "saddle patch" which marks them as a Offshore orcas. Since they were eating Tuna and not seals, Transient orcas tend to eat primarily sea mammals and don't eat fish. However, who knows these could be a genetic offshoot from the 3 known classes of orcas. Offshore orcas were only discovered in 1988.

 

 

from now on, i defer to the orca expert ^^^ ;)

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Offshore orcas are commonly sighted in deep water as opposed to costal waters. What makes this sighting really interesting is that most Orcas do not like warm waters. They must have been hanging out in greenland or south America prior to traveling to the Gulf since Orcas. I find it hard to believe these Orcas swam across the Atlantic though, since pods this large would need huge food sources they most likely would stick to costal waters were fishing is plentiful. I'm just surprised that no one has reported these huge pods, reports state over 100 individuals per pod and multiple pods. However, until a report comes out or some marine biologists get down there I'm not going to put too much faith in pod counts from drunk fishermen. :)

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