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Cruising Association and Groupo Trabajo Orca Atlantica publish results of Orca report submissions

by The Cruising Association 27 Jun 2022 13:06 UTC

The Cruising Association (CA) and GTOA partnered to launch a new online orca reporting form in early June 2022 to investigate orcas interacting with vessels along the Iberian Peninsula, and the reports received are now published online.

The phenomenon of orcas often damaging small yachts and other vessels along the south and west coasts of Spain and Portugal is 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.

Gathering evidence of interactions and uneventful passages

To collect evidence of interactions and uneventful passages, investigate patterns of behaviour and improve further the advice to vessels transiting the Iberian Peninsula, the CA and GTOA launched their data gathering project, inviting reports from across the boating community.

The online reporting platform was launched on 7 June 2022 and the CA is pleased to now publish the data received on the specifics of the orca interaction or uneventful passage. Interaction reports are displayed by location map pin, with the uneventful passages in list format. The data submitted includes factors such as date/route of passage, sea state/wind speed, boat speed, day/night, cloud cover, distance off land, sea depth, hull/antifoul colour, type of rudder. The reports also share the skipper's comments on specific precautions taken and information on the experience if there was an interaction.

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

The online reporting forms are available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, at theca.org.uk/orcas.

The published reports can be viewed here.

View the orca interactions poster here

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