Appeal over alarming orca incidents off Portugal

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The Cruising Association is inviting sailors to report sightings or interactions with orcas and tuna off the Iberian coast, following a spate of incidents last year.
A number of yachts reported being ‘attacked’ by orcas along the south and west coasts of Spain and Portugal, a phenomenon that understood to be linked with the migration of tuna exiting the Mediterranean from the Strait of Gibraltar and heading west and north around the Iberian Peninsula, primarily between the months of June and October.
The Cruising Association partnered with a Spanish group, Groupo Trabajo Orca Atlantica (GTOA), to gather data and consequently launched a new online orca reporting form in early June 2022. The reports received so far are now available online at theca.org.uk/orcas/reports
The CA and GTOA investigations aim to establish if environment, weather and other specific vessel factors have any measurable impact on the likelihood of an orca interaction or uneventful passage.
“To maximise the effectiveness of the online reporting project, the Cruising Association encourages skippers of sail and motor boats to submit reports right through until the tuna migration season ends around October,” commented Derek Lumb, President of the Cruising Association. “Once we have received sufficient reports, the aim is to compare and present a statistical summary of data received from interactions against the same data set reported by boats on passage through the affected area without an interaction. The CA will publish all reports received in order to share information with the entire boating community.”
Submit and view reports via theca.org.uk/orcas

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