On Tuesday, June 27 at 19:30 GMT:
Orcas are continuing to confront yachts and fishing boats, leaving scientists with extra questions than solutions and plenty of on social media rooting for what they see because the killer whale revolution. However is that this actually a case of nature combating again in opposition to people?
Since 2020, teams of orca whales have been colliding with boats in waters primarily off the coasts of Portugal and Spain. Most encounters have been innocent however the ones producing headlines have been described as aggressive, coordinated “assaults” the place orcas repeatedly ram the perimeters of boats or chunk off whole ship rudders.
Such incidents are up from 52 in 2020 to greater than 200 final 12 months, and three boats have been sunk by orcas, in line with the Atlantic Orca Working Group. Different ramming incidents have been reported off the coast of France and more recently off the coast of Shetland within the North Sea.
Orcas are very smart and social animals that journey collectively in pods. Though they’re typically referred to as “killer whales”, scientists emphasise that orcas aren’t recognized to hunt people. Some researchers assume one whale could also be educating fellow whales a behavioural fad that’s spreading to different pods. The confrontations might maybe be as a consequence of overfishing, elevated boat visitors or different invasive human actions. Different scientists assume boat ramming is maybe a misunderstood show of adolescent playfulness.
On this episode of The Stream, we’ll hear extra about orcas and their current encounters with people.
On this episode of The Stream, we communicate with:
Science and analysis director, Wild Orca
Paul Watson, @CaptPaulWatson
Marine wildlife conservation & environmental activist