Filmed for the upcoming TV documentary Britains Sharks the video shows up to 200 blue sharks tucking into a dead humpback whale in an area called The Celtic Deeps between Cornwall, Wales and Ireland.
Dr Nicholas Higgs, a research fellow at Plymouth University’s Marine Institute, set up the experiment with Ben Fogle during the filming in the Celtic Deeps, a deep water trench between the coasts of Cornwall, Wales and Ireland.
Dr Higgs said: “When a whale dies it can float for weeks, and be carried along by the current for miles while being fed on by scavengers. Elsewhere in the world, we know that a huge range of animals will come in to feed, everything from great white sharks to tiny worms. But we’ve never had the opportunity to study one in the UK because when a whale washes up, it is taken to landfill.
“We had no idea what might come along to the feast. I would never have predicted that you’d have this many sharks eating this much of the whale at the surface,” he said.
“If you’d asked me six months ago about what was likely to happen to this whale, I would have said that you might get ‘a few nibbles here and there’, but most of that whale would end up on the seabed. What we’re seeing here is a huge proportion of it just being eaten and taken away by these sharks.
Britain’s Sharks is broadcast on ITV Friday, March 25, at 9pm.