NewsNovember 24, 2023 3:03 PM ET5,544 views

Sailors tried using "Metal for Orcas" playlist to deter killer whale attacks, it didn't work

Metal For Orcas

In the waters off Spain and Portugal, there have been reports of killer whales attacking and even capsizing boats in recent years. 

According to a report by CBS, Sailors are collaborating to find ways to deter the orcas, with one potential solution being blasting thrash metal music. GTOA, a group studying killer whales in the region, has recorded a significant increase in interactions between the whales and boats over the past few years.

The interactions have escalated, with a recorded 52 instances in a five-month period in 2020 and a notable increase to 207 in 2022. These occurrences have sparked conversations among sailors seeking advice in a Facebook group of over 59,000 members. Various strategies have been suggested, including the use of sand, fireworks, and loud horns.

One individual claimed that playing East European thrash metal at full volume was effective in deterring the orcas during an interaction last year. It's important to note that blasting music is reportedly prohibited under the Royal Decree 1727/2007, which protects whales and other cetaceans in Spanish waters.

Amid these efforts, there's uncertainty regarding what methods work best. Even though sand and full-throttle maneuvers have shown some success in the past, other attempts, such as using music, have not yielded consistent results. 

In an interview with the New York Times, sailor Florian Rutsch shared a harrowing orca encounter in November. Rutsch attempted to deter the orcas by playing a Spotify playlist called "Metal for Orcas" through an underwater speaker. 

However, this unconventional tactic backfired as the orcas ended up attacking his vessel's rudder, leading to the crew needing rescue by Spanish authorities. 

Regrettably, the scientific community is still far from comprehending the reasons behind the orcas' aggression towards boats, especially considering their typical diet of fish and marine mammals.

 

 

 

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