A group of killer whales sank a sailboat in the Strait of Gibraltar: What are the reasons for this phenomenon?

In this photo provided by Michael Pierson, an unusually large pod of killer whales is seen off the coast of San Francisco on May 7, 2023. (Michael Pierson/Oceanic Society via AP)

New episode of Orca attack in the Strait of Gibraltar Settle down with him A sailboat sankhe “Grazi Mama II”which was unable to float on October 31 during rescue efforts, resulting in the rescue of its entire crew.

According to what the Polish company posted on social media Morsky Mile“Specialized in tourist routes, it was sailboats.” He was attacked by a group of killer whales. They hit the steering fin for 45 minutes, causing severe damage and leaks.“.

Despite attempts to bring the ship to port by the captain, crew, rescue workers, as well as tug boats and the Moroccan Navy, it sank near the entrance to the Moroccan port. Tangier Med“The company that indicated this explained “The crew is healthy, unharmed and now safe in Spain.”

Killer whale attacks on sailboats have occurred in the Strait of Gibraltar and also in the Spanish region of Galicia (northwest) since July 2020.

It’s about a A phenomenon for which experts and researchers are still searching for an explanation Of the presence of cetaceans in the Strait of Gibraltar, some of them are in their migration corridor during the summer and others have settled with families in the area.

Killer whale attack on a sailboat in Spain

Due to the concern caused by these events, the Organization for Conservation, Information and Studies of Cetaceans (Circe) is collaborating with the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition in tagging killer whales.

Sires explained in a statement that monitoring will allow us to know the location of the samples in the last hours and prepare a weekly map of the approximate area in which they were moving during that period.

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This information will be exchanged with the competent departments, which will publish it for the information of mariners, with the aim of trying to reduce the risks of interaction or avoid or reduce navigation through these areas.

So far, these attacks have resulted in sporadic damage, but now Killer whales have already caused the first sailboat to sink in the strait.

The killer whale Gladys has become a symbol of a case that has baffled authorities and scientists: attacks by these animals on sailboats for three years, especially in Spanish waters.

Anna Aldarias works as an oceanographer in the Strait of Gibraltar, part of the Marine Ecology Area Ecologists at work. In an interview with Spain information We delved a little deeper into this strange phenomenon that is difficult to explain, but is unambiguously caused by human existence and its way of changing the environment.

“At the moment there are many scientific hypotheses that go beyond people’s inventions. Killer whales have always migrated through the strait and are a non-resident group, but they always migrate through this area because it is the only point of contact with the Mediterranean Sea. Overall, Cetaceans “They make this migration twice a year: in the winter in search of calm waters and again in the summer when they leave there,” Al-Darias said.

“In the case of killer whales, the migration is characterized by the presence of tuna, which is the main food in their diet. Yes, it is true that there are changes in their behavior, but Mainly because of the tuna. One main hypothesis is that there are changes in the timing of tuna arrivals and the depth to which they travel that may affect killer whales. The killer whale is at the top of the food chain, and simply put, it can make decisions and choose where it goes, but tuna are guided by the currents, and can be affected if there are changes in them, but for now, he continued: “In Cádiz, they do not see it very noticeable at the moment.” Present”.

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According to the Darias. “The current system of the strait is very complex To study, because there is water even from Antarctica. He specified that there is a “balance in forces and river discharges, which makes the matter very complex.”

“If there are changes, it could be due to food, but they are all hypotheses. Whether or not there is more food can change the pattern and can change their behavior. If they do not have food to eat, they will search for life,” he concluded. “But they are all very preliminary theories.”

(With information from EFE)

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