Building the family pods in the Bremer Bay Orca population is part of our daily research onboard. Studying the area and documenting the species we observe helps to build a great picture on the importance of these feeding ground. Squid is plentiful and attracts the big predators including Sperm Whales, Pilot Whales, Beaked Whales and of course Orca. The movement of squid will vary through the season and over the last few days as we now enjoy the beginning of autumn there has been a shift in feeding dynamics out in The Patch. The Orca are travelling further afield and searching for that elusive meal and over the next few weeks we will see a slight change in the movement of different family pods. Matriarchs will lead their pod to the best locations to find food and prevent overfishing of certain areas they have focused on during the start of the season.
The call of Orca went out as just to the western end of The Patch the distinctive dorsal fin of big male Zelenskyy appeared. The rest of his family was travelling with him as well and it was the perfect opportunity for our research team to be building the family pods identification features and images to add into the catalogue. Living together for life the Orca have strong family bonds and it is fascinating to watch their day to day life unfold. Orca also have individual personalities that shine through with some more shy and reserved than others while certain individuals are the life of the party! The calves are looking healthy and full of energy in this family pod and we are very excited to continue building a friendship with them from season to season.