Mesmerising footage shows 50 sharks feeding off Aussie coast

The feeding frenzy was filmed after a humpback whale carcass appeared near Hervey Bay.

Mesmerising footage shows dozens of sharks descending on a whale carcass in what authorities have described as a “feeding frenzy” off the Queensland coast.

Filmed using a drone and cameras on board two boats, around 50 tiger sharks were seen devouring the remains of a humpback near Hervey Bay on Sunday afternoon. Watching the sharks gracefully chomp into the decaying flesh is surprisingly quite beautiful to watch.

Senior Ranger Daniel Clifton said Sunday’s footage highlights the “important ecological relationship” that exists between whales and sharks. “The death of one whale, although sad, creates a life source for many other scavenging animals including fish, sharks and other marine life,” he said in a statement.

A drone shot showing around 50 sharks feasting on a dead whale. A small boat can also be seen.
Around 50 sharks were filmed feeding on a whale carcass off Hervey Bay. Source: DES
Close-up of sharks eating the whale.
The sharks were filmed devouring the dead whale's flesh. Source: DES

Authorities reported the body has been anchored to allow the “natural process to continue”.

When whales die at sea their carcasses can last for decades. They are initially torn apart by hungry sharks and seabirds, and then slowly sink many kilometres to the ocean floor. The body can then support an entire ecosystem of deep sea creatures including worms and bacteria.

Why you shouldn't approach dead whales

Department of Environment (DES) issued Sunday’s footage with a warning to stay away from whale carcasses because they can attract predators, but also carry zoonotic diseases.

Just last week, it told tourists to stay away after a whale washed up on a beach 65km south at Inskip Point. Images taken by a contractor tasked with burying it show the amazing effort required to haul the body away. The creature was estimated to be 12 metres long and weigh 18 tonnes.

An earth mover attempting to move the whale carcass from Inskip Point.
Contractors toiled to removed a dead whale from Inskip Point last week. Source: Clayton's Towing

Over 30,000 humpbacks will likely migrate from Antarctica to Queensland’s warm waters to breed and calve. While shipping collisions and the state’s shark net program continue to pose a threat to their safety, many whales found dead on beaches have simply died of natural causes.

Authorities have recorded five whale deaths in the Wide Bay area in just the last week.

  • June 16 — Humpback whale died in shallow waters near Susan River

  • June 20 — Another humpback washed up dead at Inskip Point

  • June 22 — Bryde’s whale died at K’gari

  • June 24 — A second Bryde’s whale died at K’gari

  • June 25 — A dead humpback was reported at an undisclosed location.

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