Alaska Fishermen Grapple With Killer Whale "Bandits" Kids News Article

Pods of crafty orcas in Alaska’s Bering Sea have identified an alternative way to have fed. Rather than looking for the fish themselves, the clever whales chase down fishing boats for sale and steal the full day’s catch, just as much as 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of halibut and black cod, within a swoop.

Killer whale “bandits” are certainly not a fresh phenomenon. Japanese fishermen have reported being pursued by pods because 1950s, high are already numerous other encounters reported around Alaska and various components of the planet since. However, the increasing frequency of whale fish theft in the Bering Sea’s continental shelf, which provides a high density within the mammals, is now threatening the livelihood of fishermen that frequent the location.

Paul Clampitt, any local fisherman, says his crew attempt to reduce the chances of the whales with loud sounds. Though that worked for a little while, the mammals now consider the noise “a dinner bell.” Jay Herbert, who compares the thieving orcas to “motorcycle gangs,” tried using sonars that emit a frequency that will keep your whales away. He too met with little success. In line with the veteran fisherman, the smart whales deliberately search for longliners, and, in the first opportunity shown to them, strip the hooks clean, exiting merely the lips of your fish caught!

Robert Hanson, who’s been frequenting the Bering Sea since 1992, has gotten numerous encounters using the stealing orcas and lost on every occasion. He recalls one incident should the aggressive whales hounded his boat non-stop for a long time. So that they can outrun them, the crew wasted 4,000 pounds of fuel and ultimately lost the 12,000 pounds of halibut they had caught. During another expedition, 50 whales pursued his boat for upwards of two days, after the engine ended up switched off. The frustrated fisherman finally quit looking to fish and returned home empty-handed. The longliner has additionally observed juvenile orcas in your community and believes they can be being taught the art of stealing by their mothers!

NOAA Fisheries biologist John Moran seriously isn’t amazed at the mammals’ thieving prowess. The expert says whales are skilled hunters who is able to distinguish between your sounds of several boats and even recognize the sounds in the hydraulic system that places the fishing gear into the ocean. The expert quips, “Grabbing a fish off a line is nothing.” Because they are social animals, it is easy to the whales to feed their skills to other people.

Orcas are not the only whale species that contain learned to steal from humans. Within the Gulf of Alaska, sperm whales, some as huge as school buses, also conduct similar heists. Longline fishermen off Washington, Chile, Australia, Hawaii, and several other countries have reported similar incidents.

There is, unfortunately, a tough fix to this problem. Among the many solutions being considered is employing pot traps similar to the ones employed to catch crabs. However, the price tag on switching from longline to pot fishing is prohibitive, tailored for small-scale fisheries. There is possibly no guarantee consumption shall be safe from the intelligent mammals who, many fear, will ultimately understand how to open the pots!


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