Since the beginning of the interactions, in 2020, we have collected information from the crews based on a survey, which can be consulted here. We have now taken a further step through a collaboration project to collect information on interactions and non-interactions.
Grupo Trabajo Orca Atlantica-GTOA was created out of concern for the health of the endangered small killer whale population in the Strait of Gibraltar (around 50 individuals) and responded quickly by gathering information about what was happening and at the same time providing useful information to the community of sailors when this problem first appeared.
GTOA have now formed a collaboration with the Cruising Association-CA to address both the difficult situation of the boating community and the situation of this population of orcas which is in danger of extinction. Both organizations have agreed that more work is needed to protect the interests of small boats without further harm to killer whales. It is obvious that a harmless solution to the problem will benefit both sailors and killer whales.
The GTOA/CA collaboration aims to help and expand the existing study by improving communication with the boating community and improving research to learn lessons that will help crews to avoid interactions with killer whales, or reduce the impact on their vessels if an interaction occurs.
The CA have created a web page to explain all this and have created reporting forms for both interactions and for passages through the worst affected areas at peak periods so that control data can be studied alongside interaction reports. The results of the surveys will be reviewed by both entities and will improve public information on these facts.
The report forms and databases showing anonymised reports plus current advice can be found on the Cruising Association website at link