A heat map indicates to sailors the areas free of orcas for crossing the Strait

Renaud de Stepanis, director of the CIRCE association based in Campo de Gibraltar, is responsible for satellite tagging to track cetaceans. His work is essential for the study and conservation of these marine species.

The Interaction of Orcas with Sailboats: A Hunting Lesson

Marine Biology professor José Carlos García-Gómez explains that orcas interact with sailboats in the Strait to teach their young how to hunt tuna. This behavior is related to the presence of a large number of tuna in the area in recent years.

Government Takes Measures: Tagging Orcas and Alerting Sailboats

The government plans to tag six orcas with transmitters to alert sailboats of their presence in the Strait. This measure aims to prevent possible incidents and ensure the safety of sailors.

Orcas’ Attacks on Sailboats: Records in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Coast of Cádiz

Various videos and photos show incidents of orcas attacking sailboats in both the Strait of Gibraltar and the coast of Cádiz. These incidents have raised concerns and the need to implement preventive measures.

Renaud de Stephanis’ Objective: Installing Solar Panels in His Office

Researcher Renaud de Stephanis hopes that the orca tagging project will allow him to obtain funding to install solar panels on the roof of his office. This initiative would not only benefit his organization but also contribute to environmental conservation.

The CIRCE Association: Funding and Activities in the Strait of Gibraltar

The CIRCE association, based in Campo de Gibraltar, is funded through public contracts, grants, and contracts with private companies. In addition to satellite tagging of animals, they also conduct research and send periodic reports on the behavior of orcas in the Strait.

Proposed Action Plan: Avoiding Contact and Changing Behaviors

According to Renaud de Stephanis, an action plan based on three approaches has been proposed. The first aims to avoid contact with orcas, the second aims to reduce hazards in case of an encounter, and the third focuses on trying to change the behavior of these animals.

Additional Safety Measures: Device Design and Use of Paintball

The CIRCE team has designed attachments for the rudder of boats to prevent orcas from breaking them. Additionally, the use of paintball guns as negative reinforcement to deter orcas when they approach sailboats is being considered.

Heat Maps and Effective Solutions: The Importance of Prevention

The development of the heat map and the implementation of safety measures aim to provide useful and effective information to sailors and to prevent unwanted encounters between orcas and vessels crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.

News excerpted from Europa Sur.