Discovered by marine researchers just a decade ago the Bremer Canyon plays host to the largest congregation of Orca’s in the Southern Hemisphere. It is believed that a very deep Antarctic flow enters the canyon gathering bio carbons creating a nutrient rich environment which collides with the Leeuwin Current flow and the topography of the canyon creates an oceanic eddy. This interaction creates nutrient rich up welling waters where phytoplankton develops and an intense food chain for marine life propsers. Orca’s are at the top of that food chain and are the apex predators of our oceans.
Travelling from far and wide, we have limited research on where our Orca travel from to reach the Bremer Canyon every year between the months of January and March. Their arrival in the canyon signifies the beginning of an intense feeding season which also provides the perfect opportunity for research to be conducted during this time so we may learn more about Australia’s Orca. The largest member of the Dolphin family and one of the most easily recognised of all whale species, Orca (Orcanis Orca) live in family groups that range in size from five to forty whales and have been known to congregate into a group of 100+ animals in the right environment when a rich food source is present.
Living for up to 100 years, weighing up to 10 tons and reaching a length of up to 9 meters makes the Orca a very impressive and knowledgeable mammal who has the capability of travelling thousands of kilometres to reach preferred feeding grounds throughout the year. The Orca of Bremer Bay have been known to feed on squid, beaked whale and sunfish during their time in the canyon and further investigation is required to learn more about their relationship and predation behaviour with Sperm Whale and Pilot Whale calves who can also be regularly sighted in the canyon during this time of year.
The Orca also bring with them a fan club of oceanic seabirds and sharks who enjoy the plentiful bounty of an easier feed that has often been brought up from the depths of the canyon to the surface after a successful hunt. The female Orca plays a very important role in Orca society with pods being led by a matriarch female who over the years teaches her offspring and family members hunting techniques, migration paths and important feeding ground locations just like the ones we visit in Bremer Bay.
The opportunity we have to meet one of the most intelligent mammals on this planet and learn from the matriarchs of their pods is a truly exciting time for all whale watchers around the world and we look forward to welcoming you onboard as you Join Our Pod and Learn the Language of the Whales™ with Whale Watch Western Australia.