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Cruising Association releases new research library on orca interactions

by The Cruising Association 4 Sep 2023 15:38 UTC
Cruising Association releases new research library on orca interactions © The Cruising Association

Since the launch of its orca project in June 2022, the Cruising Association has received around 150 reports from skippers who have experienced an orca interaction.

The CA has now created a library of comments extracted from the full interaction reports, categorising the different actions and measures that skippers have reported when attempting to deter or end an interaction. This resource aims to provide concerned individuals and those discussing the issue on social media with an easily accessible way to research the effectiveness of skipper actions based on evidence from first-hand accounts.

The library is available to read here and categorised by actions, including use of noise, use of sand, continuing to sail or motor, reversing and other measures.

Every individual skipper interaction report is publicly viewable in full, with the new library simply extracting the specific actions taken into a user-friendly research tool. The library enables sailors, scientists and others to review specific skipper actions and outcomes, for their own interest, research purposes and to assist in reducing interaction and damage to boats if an interaction occurs. Each extracted report in the library contains a link to the full report, so that all other reported factors, such as sea state/wind speed, boat speed, day/night, cloud cover, distance off land, sea depth, hull/antifoul colour, type of rudder, use of autopilot and depth sounder, can be reviewed if required.

The CA library will be updated as new interaction reports are received.

The CA orca project collects and publishes a wide range of data from interaction reports along with comparative data of interaction reports compared against reports from yachts sailing without incident through the affected area (an 'uneventful passage').

Submit a report

The CA encourages all sailors in the areas of current orca interaction activity to submit reports to the CA orca project website for both an 'interaction' and an 'uneventful passage' at theca.org.uk/orcas.

All reports are published in an anonymised format and available publicly here. These reports are also a resource used by scientists at Grupo Trabajo Orca Atlantica (GTOA) for research, to update the GTOA interaction maps and traffic light alert system at orcaiberica.org, as well as the GTOA interaction and sighting app 'GT Orcas' (Apple Store and Google Play).

Orca project poster

The CA orca project poster is designed to increase awareness about orca interactions. The CA encourages display of the poster at marine locations, including marinas, sailing clubs, chandleries, as well as digital platforms.

The updated poster can be downloaded here. The CA encourages the sailing community to request their home marina or marinas and other marine locations they visit to display the poster.

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