• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

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Why are orcas ‘attacking’ fishing boats off the coast of Gibraltar?

New Scientist Default Image

A rescue boat called after an orca “attack”

Elisabeth Heigl-Berger & Markus Berger

MARTIN EVANS, a sailor on his way to Greece, was about 80 kilometres from Gibraltar on 17 June when he saw the orcas. “I knew immediately that we were having a major issue,” he says. “I jumped onto the helm and tried to hand steer the boat, but it was ripped from my hands with tremendous force.”

For 2 hours, about a dozen orcas, also known as killer whales, circled the boat, bashing repeatedly against the bottom. “At one point, I looked …