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14th September 2020, 16:33

Scientists raise concerns over orcas ramming boats in the Strait of Gibraltar

Scientists have raised concerns over reports of orcas ramming boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.

This is according to reports in the international press, which cite incidents over recent months in which orcas repeatedly rammed boats, in some cases damaging the rudders and even injuring those aboard due to the force of their impact. Several such cases were reported in the Strait, although a recent incident took place off A Coruña in Galicia.

Scientists quoted in the Guardian speculate as to the reasons for what is deemed unusual behaviour, from stress to a scarcity of food caused by overfishing. It quotes cetacean researcher, Ezequiel Andréu Cazalla, saying that the Strait of Gibraltar is "the worst place for orcas to live" due to the level of marine traffic, and that they also face injury from competing for tuna with fishing boats.