Catch of the Day

A group of humpback whales use the bubble-net feeding technique to catch baitfish near Chiswell Islands in Alaska's Kenai Fjords, Resurrection Bay, July 25, 2023.

The “Catch of the Day” Experience

A big group of humpback whales use the bubble-net feeding technique in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords in Resurrection Bay on July 25, 2023. I was aboard a Major Marine Tours out of Seward and it was the first time I witnessed this amazing spectacle. The backdrop of the Chiswell Islands made it feel even more majestic.

Whichever humpback whale that invented this cooperative feeding technique was brilliant! And a great coach too since it takes teamwork. The most experienced whale leads the charge by letting out a trumpeting call and starts circling a school of herring from below, all the while blowing out bubbles that corral the prey into a tight cylinder of water-space. The group follows suit then burst upward through the center of the bubble net with gaping jaws lined with baleen to gulp down and filter out this massive concentrated caloric source. They may eat a ton of food a day. It's binge-time! If you’re a herring and you think you slipped through the net, good luck dodging the seagulls.

Todd Salat


Photo Info

Seward, Alaska
Nikon D850 with Tamron 15-600mm
1/1000, ƒ/5.6, ISO 3200

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