back to article 'Thieving' sperm whale caught on CCTV

Boffins working with Alaskan fishermen have used CCTV to capture unique video of a sperm whale attempting to scoff cod off fishing gear. Such behaviour is referred to as "thieving" by the fishermen. Sperm whale caught on CCTV shaking cod off Alaskan longline Do you know this whale? The vid, which can be viewed by clicking …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a cod..

    Bugger. How am I gonna get off this... HEY! MATE! OVER HERE!

    That's it, shake it a bit more! Yaay!!!! I'm fre..

  2. Andrew Moore

    I'm not saying that this is old news...

    ...but the date stamp indicates that it is from 2006.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    "operating uncharacteristically in gangs"

    ...not true, groups of sperm whales are well known to operate collectively in hunting for giant squid.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Slow news day. Isn't it home time yet?

    Where's BOFH .. only he can save me now, boredom can be terminal you know. Its a form of abuse!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    @The Giant Squid guy

    No there is not. There is virtually no data at all on giant squids their loves, lives or battles with sperm whale in the depths. We have limited footage courtesy of some guy near japan that dropped a camera and lure over the side and some washed up on the beach specimens. Thats it, zip, nada beyond that.

    We have the contents of sperm whale stomachs which show that squid (NOT giant squid) is a mainstay of their diet.

    Unless you would like to show me up with some classic YouTube footage, the idea that pods of sperm whale roam the ocean ganging up on monstrous leviathans is fantasy.

    A jolly good fantasy and I am not kocking the idea that sperm whales do operate collectively in groups. Just that there is no evidence of them doing so against giant squid.

    For all we know they might pair off mano a mano for death matches and 20,000 feet.... yeah I like that one!

  6. Alistair

    @AC @squid guy

    I would postulate that the distribution of size among the squid species may give a clue as to how big a squid needs to be before he becomes too much for your average sperm whale to snaffle. But WTF do I know?

    Sorry to carp on ...

  7. Ferry Boat

    Prince of Whales

    Why don't the fishermen drop depth charges? It would kill the pesky whales and the fish would all float to the surface to be easily scooped up. Long lines! You may as well be the fish whisperer.

  8. Ben

    @ Andrew Moore

    Yes, the video is a bit old.

    On the other hand, you don't go publishing your evidence on the internet so that any old Tom, Dick or Ahab can come along and scoop your research paper - the reason that this has only just come to light is because the study (and video) has only just been published.

    The good news is that as an old sea salt, Lewis is well aware that whales are mammals, and so we've been spared a 'Fish fingered' joke in the headline.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    but it looks like a glove puppet.

  10. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    @@The Giant Squid guy

    "For all we know they might pair off mano a mano for death matches and 20,000 feet.... yeah I like that one!"

  11. Fred

    Thieving ???

    People drop strings in the water that have snacks conveniently attached for the whales.

    Where's the thievery ? Maybe copyright infringement, at the most... :)

  12. Frumious Bandersnatch

    @@The Giant Squid guy

    Oh come one. It's on the front cover of TMBG's Apollo 18. That's good enough for me...

  13. Mike Richards Silver badge

    'Do you recognise this sperm whale'

    This could really brighten up Alaska's version of CrimeWatch.

  14. Mike

    Lazy fish.....

    Is anyone else singing "keep on swimming" in the heads?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward 13:28

    proof as requested

  16. Stevie


    It's time the real story behind these freeloading gangs of blubber and oil was told.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    "though they don't say how"

    I wouldn't either. Don't want the crafty whales reading about it in advance and planning around it!

  18. wsm

    Serves them right...

    Tease a whale with a fish on a line and it will find a way to make a game of it. It's the fisherman who are confused by it all. Boffins aren't much brighter than the fish on the line.

  19. peter Silver badge

    They may be guilty of thieving...

    ...but I'd like to see one in the dock.

    Mine's the waterproof one with the Sou'wester beside it. Thanks.

  20. n

    you are only ever 45 minutes from a whale.

    "It's time the real story behind these freeloading gangs of blubber and oil was told."

    Did someone say they have oil?

    In that case these weapons of mass fish destruction are global terrorists...hiding out there somewhere.....somewhere where our children swim innocently, somewhere where our people have always worked hard to earn an honest crust, just as our forefathers have done for generations.

    Some say they operate in secretive "cells" where they gather to mock our modern ways of fishing with lines and nets, spreading their evil fundamentalist doctrine of catching fish with their mouths.

    Sadly we know almost nothing about their evil mysterious schemes........but as is ably demonstrated here by General Powell with the use of hand puppets.......we can clearly see they now threaten our very way of life.

    Are we just to stand by as they grow in number? Threatening our freedoms? Creating global warming? Destroying our economies?

    FOR GODS SAKES!!....they don't even speak English.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Watching the video it looked to me like the whale was flossing...

  22. Lukin Brewer

    Thieving marine predators.

    To one extent or other, fishermen tend to regard all top predators in this light: taking the fish that are rightfully theirs. For instance, the Canadian seal cull is intended to reduce the number of hungry mouths competing with the fishing industry - the profits from the cull itself are tiny considering the amount of input required.

    Overall, the fishing industry finds itself in something of a Prisoner's Dilemma. If they all worked to their full ability, they could fish the oceans empty in a very few years. Even if some crews could be relied on to fish responsibly, there would be plenty of others who wouldn't. This is why we need to find quotas that work, and enforce them.

  23. John Dougald McCallum

    @Lukin Brewster Monday 25th May 2009 08:00 GMT

    I AGREE and areas where fishing is NOT allowed at all any boat found fishing is sunk no excuses for any skipper from what ever no matter what country they come from. If this was applied around the African coast a lot of boats would be on the bottom.

  24. Dr. Mouse

    Whos the thief?

    So, for thousands of years these whales have been eating fish from those oceans. Then along comes a cheeky fisherman and takes those fish from the whales. Who's the thief?

    Seems to me the whales are just taking back what was theirs in the first place!

  25. Frank Bitterlich


    Well, CCTV is a good first step. But these whales are clearly terrorists, after all they are using weapons of mass destruction (=firecrackers). Time to bring on the RIPA and bust them all.

    BTW, did the fishermen have a photography permit? No? Sir, I request that you delete these immages immediately...

  26. FreeTard

    All I can say is...

    Robbing bastards.

  27. phil harris

    Spot the lack of Biologists on hte Editorial Team !

    What ?

    No-one noticed that the Sperm Whale pics are upside down ?

    Or ... do they really swim around upside down :o

    That's far more interesting than a bunch of fishermen moaning about the size of their catch when they get it all for free anyway.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    chav whales on cctv

    Caught in the act and not one of them clubbed by the coppers or shot in the subway. I'm not sure why they let them get away with this outrageous behaviour right out in the open. Darn things are probably just pooping in the ocean for all we know.

  29. steven

    little mean, big spears

    im a celebratecean, get me outta here!

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