Australia whales losing killer instinct

Opportunistic whales have forced researchers to reconsider whether long-line fishing in Australia’s southern waters is as eco-friendly as first thought.

Scientists have found that clever killer and sperm whales have discovered the convenience of take-away meals – namely learning how to suck trapped fish off commercial fishing lines.

“I was pretty amazed,” Deakin University marine biologist Paul Tixier said. “We thought whales were highly specialized animals… But here we have a human activity and the whales have switched their behavior to take advantage of it.”

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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