[MARMAM] new publication: Movements and dive behaviour of a toothfish-depredating killer and sperm whale

Jared Towers jrtowers at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 22:22:42 PDT 2018

Dear all,

Our paper titled "Movements and dive behaviour of a toothfish-depredating
killer and sperm whale" was recently published in the ICES Journal of
Marine Science.

Towers, J. R., Tixier, P., Ross, K. A., Bennett, J., Arnould, J. P. Y.,
Pitman, R. L., and Durban, J. W. Movements and dive behaviour of a
toothfish-depredating killer and sperm whale. – ICES Journal of Marine
Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsy118.

Abstract: 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 >750m 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

The paper can be accessed at
or by contacting jrtowers at gmail.com

Jared Towers
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