In 2005 film makers Dave and Jennene Riggs discovered what is now recognized as the largest aggregation of killer whales in the southern hemisphere. Over 300 individual killer whales are now know to seasonally inhabit this deep water marine biodiversity hot spot, all here to take advantage of the seasonal abundance of food. But the real mystery lies far below the surface. The 'hot spot' is located at the head of a 5000 metre deep underwater canyon, a place that harbors all manner of unusual life including one the oceans most mysterious creatures, the giant squid. Enormous bull sperm whales dive to over 1000 metres in search of these tentacled beasts, regularly surfacing with the still writhing animal firmly ensnared in their jaw. Ever watchful, the killer whales use sheer numbers and brute force to snatch the prize from his mouth.
this past season Dave and his team managed to capture vision of one of the largest squid ever seen on film, an animal with a mantle of over 6 metres in length!
The Bremer canyon is located some 50 kilometres from the south Western Australian coastal town of Bremer Bay and is surrounded by some of the roughest waters on our planet, its sheer isolation is the main reason this remarkable ecosystem is still functioning today.
In 2013 Dave and Jennene co-produced a documentary entitled 'The Search for the Oceans Super Predator'. This one hour natural history film drew international attention to this remarkable place.
Photo Credit: Oceans Super Predator Films
Dave and Jennene have been visiting the site for over 15 years and in that time they have documented some incredible marine species interactions.
In April 2019 they filmed for the first time ever, the chase and attack of a blue whale by over 50 killer whales.
Photo credit: John Daw, Australian Wildlife Journeys
Photo Credit: Oceans Super Predator Films
In early 2020 an international film crew contracted the Riggs's services to assist them in sending deep water cameras 800 metres below in the hopes of filming the mythical giant squid. For two months they battled rough weather and restrictions imposed by COVID to ultimately capture footage of a massive animal of over 10 metres in length!
The mystery of what powers this incredible aggregation of apex predators is not known and 2021 will see Dave, Jennene and their team deploy a range of cutting edge deep water camera systems into the depths of this unique offshore marine environment.
Their hope is to capture imagery of rarely seen marine species to better understand the intricate relationships at play between species. Creatures such as the elusive giant squid, 4 metre long broad bill swordfish, oceanic sunfish and schools of adult dusky whaler sharks all patrol this remote area off the West Australian coast. Its also possible the teams cameras will capture footage of creatures never seen before.
Deep water exploration is technical and expensive, usually only undertaken by governments or offshore resource mining companies. Public support for this unique project is a crucial step in understanding and protection.
It would be wonderful to guarantee this remarkable ecosystems survival so future generations can also be spellbound by its magic.
Photo Credit: Keith Lightbody
For your patronage:
A contribution up to $20.00 will receive weekly video updates on what transpires during our daily visits to the Bremer Canyon killer whale hotspot in season 2021 (commencing mid January).
A contribution of $20.00 - $50.00 will receive weekly video updates plus a season ending hard copy of the best video footage we have captured to date (everything from 2005 - 2021). This includes vision of our incredible killer whale/blue whale hunt!
A contribution of $50.00 - $100.00 will receive all of the above plus a copy of the best still imagery we have captured from the Bremer Canyon.
If you're super passionate about helping us capture deep sea imagery, a donation of $1000.00 will fund the purchase of additional deep water cameras and lights!
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