From the archive: December 20, 2018: Report by the captain of SAM SIMON, Alistair Allan
Liberia, West Africa – It’s a cloudless day again, and the blue water shimmers under the relentless sun. Only rarely does a light breeze blow through the endless, turquoise expanse that I look through my porthole.
The internal phone in my cabin starts ringing. At the other end of the line an excited voice calls out: “Orcas! Orcas are outside! ”
I quickly climb the steps to the bridge and look out from the starboard side. When I look over the water, a huge dorsal fin appears right next to the ship. It is the largest of the school, the matriarch. I can see that they swim on all sides next to our ship, a family of about 12 animals! The crew is thrilled by the sight of the young members of the orca family jumping and splashing around.
The SAM SIMON has been on patrol in Liberia for a month now, and during this special meeting we were far away, on the eastern border between Liberia and the Ivory Coast. Here the Cavalla River flows into the sea and the area is known for its richness in species.
Before the OPERATION SOLA STELLA started in 2016, the local small-scale fishermen complained that foreign industrial trawl vessels enter this area every day. They came across the border night after night, flattening the nets of the small fishermen, rolling over their canoes and stealing the fish with which they made a living.
Today, almost three years later, the Liberian coast guard, in cooperation with Sea Shepherds SAM SIMON and BOB BARKER, has completely stopped these nighttime ideas … continue on our website: https://sea-shepherd.de/2566
Some information about orcas: Orcas are the largest dolphins in the world. The males are 10 m long and 10 tons heavy. The females are somewhat smaller. They have pointed, conical teeth that are 7 cm long. The body is strong and the jaw is exceptionally strong.
Orcas are quick hunters. The broad tail fin gives the animal the necessary acceleration. They always hunt together and also live in a group. There are 6 to 40 animals in a family. They often stay together for a lifetime.
An orca baby stays close to the mother. It also has to learn to speak. Orcas communicate through chants and a series of tones: they growl, hum, screech, whistle, scream and click. The orca mother speaks the words to her boy until she can pronounce them correctly. Orcas have the second largest brain of any living thing on the planet.
Orcas eat herring, salmon, penguins, seals, sea leopards, sea lions, rays, whales and sharks. They always came up with very special techniques for hunting.
The massive animals cover long distances in the wild, on average 65 kilometers a day. They don’t just do it because they can, but because they have to – to find varied food and to keep fit.
They dive several times a day at a depth of 30 to 150 meters.
The killer whales are becoming increasingly rare – and their survival is uncertain.
On the one hand, it is due to the perverse desire of humans to put these intelligent animals in a pool that is 45 x 28 x 9 meters in size, so that they serve as entertainment for stupid tourists. Most of them die in captivity after a few years and do not give birth to a calf for years.
On the other hand, the king salmon is becoming increasingly rare. This very high-fat type of salmon is the main food source of the orcas. The fish swims up the Tazer River, which flows into the sea off the Seattle coast. Here the killer whales usually grab their prey.
But the number of salmon in the Pacific Northwest has been declining for decades. Overfishing, dams, cutting down coastal forests and, last but not least, climate change are reducing the population.
Maybe we, we human beings, can save these intelligent sea creatures.
Animal protection is education to humanity.
The only person who is truly moral is those who respect and save all life.
My best regrads to all, Venus