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Are orcas attacking boats off the coast of Portugal?

Are orcas attacking boats off the coast of Portugal? portugal news
Are orcas attacking boats off the coast of Portugal? - Portugal Business News

Portugal news – Orcas, also known as Iberian killer whales, seem to be attacking boats off the coast of Portugal. On Monday, Phep Philouceros was pursued by a group of five Orcas near Cape Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente) in Portugal when he was suddenly shocked by the intensity of the attack that destroyed the yacht’s rudder. The sailor was then forced to broadcast a Mayday distress alert that is only used in life-threatening situations.

A five-strong pod of orcas followed his 30-foot yacht as it sailed just off the coast of Cape Vincent that is by the Algarve in southern Portugal. During a terrifying experience, two of the orcas started attacking his yacht and destroyed the rudder in the space of only one minute.

Despite the multiple attacks near the Iberian Peninsula over the summer, orcas are not considered to be murderous. While orcas belong to the dolphin family, the Iberian Orca is a different subpopulation that migrates from the Strait of Gibraltar to the north during the summer, since it is where the tuna move.

Orcas feed mainly on the Atlantic bluefin tuna and the size of adults of the Iberian Orca sub-species is between 5 - 6.5 m, that is small compared to other orcas such as the Antarctic ones that reach up to 9 meters.

The Iberian Orca is classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List since 2019. The Strait of Gibraltar is usually where orcas are observed preying on tuna caught by longline fishing boats.

Orcas attacking a boat off the coast of Portugal by Setúbal in the Atlantic


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