Movements and dive behaviour of a toothfish-depredating killer and sperm whale

Towers, Jared R, Tixier, Paul, Ross, Katherine A, Bennett, John, Arnould, John PY, Pitman, Robert L and Durban, John W 2019, Movements and dive behaviour of a toothfish-depredating killer and sperm whale, ICES journal of marine science, vol. 76, no. 1, Jan-Feb, pp. 298-311, doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsy118.

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Title Movements and dive behaviour of a toothfish-depredating killer and sperm whale
Author(s) Towers, Jared R
Tixier, PaulORCID iD for Tixier, Paul
Ross, Katherine A
Bennett, John
Arnould, John PYORCID iD for Arnould, John PY
Pitman, Robert L
Durban, John W
Journal name ICES journal of marine science
Volume number 76
Issue number 1
Season Jan-Feb
Start page 298
End page 311
Total pages 14
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2019-01
ISSN 1054-3139
Keyword(s) competition
killer whales
Patagonian toothfish
South Georgia
sperm whales
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Marine & Freshwater Biology
Summary Depredation of demersal longlines by killer and sperm whales is a widespread behaviour that impacts fisheries and whale populations. To better understand how depredating whales behave in response to fishing activity, we deployed satellite-linked location and dive-profile tags on a sperm and killer whale that were depredating Patagonian toothfish from commercial longlines off South Georgia. The sperm and killer whale followed one fishing vessel for >180 km and >300 km and repeatedly depredated when longlines were being retrieved over periods of 6 and 7 d, respectively. Their behaviours were also sometimes correlated with the depths and locations of deployed gear. They both dove significantly deeper and faster when depredating compared with when foraging naturally. The killer whale dove >750 m on five occasions while depredating (maximum: 1087 m), but these deep dives were always followed by long periods (3.9-4.6 h) of shallow (<100 m) diving. We hypothesize that energetically and physiologically costly dive behaviour while depredating is driven by intra- and inter-specific competition due to the limited availability of this abundant resource.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fsy118
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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