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Fin whale

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Orcas are not attacking boats say leading scientists

A group of fish-eating orcas in Russia's Far East

A number of leading scientists and marine mammal experts, including WDC’s research fellow, Erich Hoyt, have called for an end to sensationalised reporting of orca interactions with boats.

There has been widescale public interest in the stories of orcas coming into contact with marine vessels along the coast of the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) and in neighbouring waters.

In an open letter, they seek to set the record straight as they conclude that there is absolutely no evidence that these are ‘attacks’, or that they are the result of ‘revenge’.

The letter also lays out the facts as they are known to try to quell some of the hysteria around the recent events involving group of Iberian orcas in particular, who have damaged the rudders of passing vessels in the region and which has led to the sinking of some.

There is growing concern that the current reporting is leading to calls for action to be taken against orcas and potential harm being inflicted on them, and that it will get worse.

‘We need to change the narrative of much of the reporting on the stories around these orcas,’ says WDC’s research fellow Erich Hoyt.  ‘There is absolutely no evidence that these are attacks or that they are the result of revenge. We should not punish wildlife for being wild.’

Read the open letter here