Orcas’ intelligence has already been established. Anybody who has watched Blackfish can confirm they are incredibly complex creatures – with tactics, social lives and behaviours which prove this. A recent article in the Guardian shows further evidence of Orcas’ ingenuity: they’re stealing fish from fishermen.
Over the past 15 years, overfishing has had a clear impact on Killer Whale populations. Similarly to sharks, Orcas mature late and produce young infrequently (every 5-6 years.) Scarcity of prey has thus had a large impact on Orca numbers.
So they’ve decided to start taking it back.
That’s what the killer whales off the Crozet Islands, an archipelago in the Southern Ocean between Africa and Antarctica, are doing at least. The phenomenon has been explored by French researchers, who actually found a positive relationship between reproductive potential and longline depredation.
It’s a complex issue – not least because, in general, longlining has adverse effects on both shark and fish populations. But it’s still an interesting read. You can find the full article here: theguardian.com
Image Source: Pixabay