Only between January and November 2021, the Spanish Working Party on Plowing Atlantic (GTOA) confirmed 105 attacks by these relatively mild mammals on yachts and ships off the coast of Spain.
According to the estimates of an independent team of experts, published on the GTOA website, it appears that the largest killer attacks on watercraft increased in July and August 2021.
According to GTOA, which also works with biologists in Portugal and France, the most attacks – 89 – were recorded in the Gulf of Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar.
On the southern shores of Spanish Andalusia, marine accidents caused by the fury of killer whales often involved yachts. One of them was the Polish unit “Rockandroll”, which at the end of June this year. she was encircled by ten killer whales. As a result of the incident, one of the crew members was injured. The rudder was also damaged.
GTOA biologist Alfredo Lopez Fernandez notes that scientists have not yet worked out a way to respond to the sudden irritation of killer whales. I personally think that the phenomenon results from the need to defend their territory by these mammals. He added that 15 percent. attacks on orc ships and yachts manages to break off the rudder.
Lopez Fernandez emphasizes that the phenomenon has intensified not only on the shores of the Iberian Peninsula, but also in the waters of the Atlantic, far from the coast. He calculated that while in the whole of 2020 there were 46 attacks of killer whales in the high ocean, in 2021 there were already 142.
In Portugal, where 37 aggressive behavior of killer whales were confirmed in 2021, biologists also do not know the reasons for the growing phenomenon.
“So far, the reasons for this strange behavior have not been establishedwhich has not been observed in killer whales anywhere else (apart from the Atlantic and Iberian Peninsula – PAP) “- said Marina Sequeira from GTOA.
She recalled that noted down for the first time in 2020, attacks by these dolphin family mammals on the vessels concerned young individuals. She pointed out that unusual behavior over time Adult orcs have also taken over.