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Breach

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Photographer: Mark Williams

Witnessing this mother and daughter breach together was a special moment. It was a foggy day, visability extremely low and I went out to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve in the assumption that it would be the only place I may find some wildlife. As I left the reserve, still moving slowing through the dense advection fog, I could hear the unmistakeable blow of killer whales to the west. I slowly continued in that direction and then spotted this pair, the mother breaching with her young calf. There are many theories as to why orcas breach, from removing unwanted skin parasites to communication with other whales or even for finding out their location relative to land — but to me, it looked as if the mother was teaching the calf to jump and they were having a great time If they are using breaching for communication it makes me think of what an acoustic world they live in. The visibility in the water is often so low that a whale may not even be able to see its own tail. Instead they use sound, as water is such an ideal medium for transmitting sound waves. Echolocation is used for navigation; for locating prey; and even for identifying objects or to differentiate between fish species. They have very complex languages with different dialects which they use to distinguish between different pods. Underwater noise pollution from shipping and tankers is getting worse every year, making it hard for a number of cetaceans to find each other, creating myriad other issues that can cause a decrease in their population. This issue needs more awareness so we are able to improve with quieter propellers (which furthermore would cause less carbon emissions) and better regulations.
Copyright
Mark Williams
Image Size
13635x9090 / 354.6MB
Contained in galleries
Fine Art Prints
Photographer:  Mark Williams<br />
<br />
Witnessing this mother and daughter breach together was a special moment. It was a foggy day, visability extremely low and I went out to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve in the assumption that it would be the only place I may find some wildlife. As I left the reserve, still moving slowing through the dense advection fog, I could hear the unmistakeable blow of killer whales to the west. I slowly continued in that direction and then spotted this pair, the mother breaching with her young calf. There are many theories as to why orcas breach, from removing unwanted skin parasites to communication with other whales or even for finding out their location relative to land — but to me, it looked as if the mother was teaching the calf to jump and they were having a great time If they are using breaching for communication it makes me think of what an acoustic world they live in. The visibility in the water is often so low that a whale may not even be able to see its own tail. Instead they use sound, as water is such an ideal medium for transmitting sound waves. Echolocation is used for navigation; for locating prey; and even for identifying objects or to differentiate between fish species. They have very complex languages with different dialects which they use to distinguish between different pods. Underwater noise pollution from shipping and tankers is getting worse every year, making it hard for a number of cetaceans to find each other, creating myriad other issues that can cause a decrease in their population. This issue needs more awareness so we are able to improve with quieter propellers (which furthermore would cause less carbon emissions) and better regulations.