Fuzeta / this morning: we went to see dolphins and ended up seeing the biggest of all… the orcas!
A group of orcas was spotted this morning off Olhão, in a dolphin watching tour promoted by the company Passeios Ria Formosa.
The group, with about 15 animals, included adults and a few pups and was sighted for several minutes about two miles from the coast, facing Barra Nova Beach in Fuzeta.
The orcas surprised the dolphin-seeking tourists aboard the Airo boat, guided by skippers João Veiga and João Neto, student of Marine Biology and Marine and Cost Management.
“In the tours we see dolphins very often, in fact due to the large number of boats that we own and leaving every day, we achieved an approximate rate of 95% success in watching dolphins,” said Ricardo Badálo, CEO of Ria Formosa Tours . “But watching orcas, while not completely unusual, is much rarer and tourists are completely ecstatic. Even for us, who are used to finding wildlife in our waters, it's very exciting, ”he adds.
Occasionally, orcas are known to travel along the Algarve coast, it is believed that due to this they will follow the annual tuna migration between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Recently, in May, a calf was rescued in the Windward, off Vila do Bispo, by a team of a cetacean observation company while trapped in a fishing float.
The orca (Orcinus orca) is often mistakenly called the killer whale but is not from the family of whales, which have no teeth.
In fact, with its sharp teeth and gigantic bearing, the orca is a… dolphin! Scientifically, the orca is the largest dolphin species on the planet. It includes in their diets preys such as fish, mollusks, birds, turtles, seals, sharks and larger animals - such as whales - when hunting in groups.
The largest specimens can reach nine tons.