By John Ensor •
Published: 18 Nov 2023 • 15:46
Image of Killer Wales.
Credit: Tory Kallman/Shutterstock.com
THIS year has seen an unprecedented rise in attacks from orcas targeting boats in Spanish waters and the Mediterranean coastline, turning into a battleground for sailors.
A recent report in BNN indicates a surge in killer whale attacks against boats in southwestern Europe, with some sailors resorting to extraordinary measures to repel them.
In a period of just five months, the Group for the Observation and Study of Aquatic Mammals (GTOA) recorded a worrying increase in aggressive orca encounters, from just 52 in 2020 to an alarming 207 by 2022. This year alone EWN has reported many incidences in Spanish waters, such as Huelva, Cadiz and Gibraltar.
In this escalating crisis, an unconventional method has emerged. Some sailors have been blasting heavy metal music underwater. Reportedly, in a desperate effort to avoid attacks, some have claimed that this tactic has successfully deterred the orcas.
Despite its growing popularity, results have varied. One German sailor named Florian Rutsch, who faced an orca onslaught on his vessel, found that thrash metal had no effect on the attacking whales. Hence this maverick approach has sparked widespread debate among sea goers.
Orcas target specific yacht parts, such as the rudder, causing severe damage and even sinking boats. This strange behaviour has perplexed scientists and prompted extensive research. Faced with these destructive encounters, sailors are considering extreme countermeasures like fireworks, which obviously poses risks to both humans and marine life.
As attacks become more frequent, the quest for harmless deterrents is critical. Efforts range from altering hull colours to deploying sand. Scientists are now exploring an acoustic device, potentially a safe and effective way to deter orcas. This urgency reflects the need for sustainable solutions that protect both mariners and these intelligent marine mammals.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
No I would suggest explosive harpoons, teach them who the master race is.
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