BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Spain has prohibited yachting across 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, of its northwestern coast after sailboats have been damaged by orca whales knocking their hulls.
Spain’s transport ministry issued the week-long prohibition for the vessels under 15 meters (49-feet) long starting on Tuesday night. It said that the area covered by the ban could be extended to follow the migration routes of the whales. The first reported incident occurred on Aug. 19. Since then a number of sailboats have been damaged by orcas and some have needed help from Spain’s maritime rescue service.
One biologist says the orcas like to play, and in these cases may be playing too rough.