Killer whales re-contact with 20 sailboats in the Strait of Gibraltar, leaving eight disabled


Last summer, at least 69 Orca interactions with sailboats were recorded and 30 required towing after losing their hull.

Orcas in the Strait.
2021 image of killer whales in the strait, where 69 interactions took place.sea ​​rescueEFE
  • Science Orcas of the Strait of Gibraltar are a unique and isolated population

las orcas that eachWith the tuna fishing season approaching, they move to the Strait of Gibraltar, they have “negotiated” with twenty sailboats since last April, eight of which have disabled the hull, requiring towing, as has been done. The Maritime Rescue of Tarifa has been confirmed (CDs).

As was the case last summer – when, as of 3 September, at least 69 contacts have been recorded with sailboats, 30 of which required towing due to loss of rudder – talks or contacts occur. with small boatsThat is why last summer the navigation of these vessels less than 15 meters was banned at Barbet Cove (CDZ).

Capitana Martima has yet to re-establish that ban this year, to avoid dangerous situations, pending advice from the Atlantic Orcas Working Group, which brings together experts and scientists from across the Strait, Galicia. Is. Portugal and France.

One member of that group, the biologist Ezquiel André, has said he is waiting to see if it occurs in the Galician coasts, where killer whale interactions with sailboats this past winter have been minimal and, however, Last winter they were very frequent.

Ezequiel André assures that the skippers of these boats have been asked, in case of contact by killer whales, whose calves usually bite the hull until it is useless, while sometimes a Or have two adults accompany them as if they were playing a game. I will try to provide the video images they can find in order to continue studying the reason for this behavior of the cheetah.

However, biologists have insisted that they take these images. only if they can Without attracting the attention of killer whales, as they give the first recommendation “avoid any kind of stimulation on the animal” and do not move the body into the water to avoid falling.

As was done last summer, the boats with which the cetaceans come into contact are also called stop engine immediatelyto disconnect the autopilot, to “remove your hands from the rudder”, to remain silent and turn off the probe, to leave the radio channel at low volume and to give your position to approach marine traffic and if they need help.

Historically, killer whales and males have lived together and have even cooperated in tuna fishing, since every spring, when schools of tuna reach the Mediterranean Sea, killer whales corner them. and pushes them to traditional Cadiz tuna traps which fish them using this technique. millennium art.

Killer whales can swim at 50 kilometers per hour and tuna can do it at 90, so cetaceans, to hunt them, organize themselves into groups that harass and surround them.

The Iberian killer whales, which are classified as endangered, are currently five groups with a total of fifty members in the strait.

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