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How nature deals with death in the sea

"It's like you and I having a vanilla slice."

Social media travel couple John Cloke and Indy Cummins have been venturing around Australia since April last year. The duo recently decided to park up at Western Australia’s Betty Beach camping ground, which is just off the coast near the city of Albany.

One morning they decided to go fishing at neighbouring beach ‘Norman’s’ when they noticed large amounts of splashing out to sea. Having a drone handy to use, they sent it out the back and were blown away with what they witnessed. From above, they saw a ridiculous number of sharks dining out on a 15-metre humpback whale like vultures of the sea.

Speaking to the ABC John reckons “at one point there’s probably about 100 sharks around the carcass… it was pretty full on.” Mike Roennfeldt, fishing writer for over 40 years, spoke to nine news about the carcass “it seems to be you get two, three, four, five sharks, but occasionally you get more, but that’s an awful lot in this one area.” Roennfeldt described the carcass as a special treat for the sharks, “ it’s just like you and I having a vanilla slice.”

Normans Beach was closed two weeks ago when John and his partner Indy notified the City of Albany’s authorities. Meanwhile, the carcass has washed up to shore and the beach remains on shark alert.

We reached out to Dr Steve Taylor, a senior research scientist who works for the WA government to see if anything was unusual about the event.

“The drone footage clearly shows numerous sharks feeding on a whale carcass. It is likely that several of these animals were white sharks. Whale carcasses are a known shark attractant, so, while the footage is certainly impressive, it documents a natural event that occurs off the WA coast.” In summary, Dr Taylor isn’t worried about an out-of-control population of sharks in the area, it’s just the way nature deals with death in the sea.

In summary, Dr Taylor isn’t worried about an out-of-control population of sharks in the area, it’s just the way nature deals with death in the sea.

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