Two dolphins and orca rescued off Algarve coast

Two dolphins and a young orca were rescued from life-threatening situations on Wednesday, May 22 off the coast of Cacela Velha and Vila do Bispo, respectively, in the Algarve.

The dolphins – a mother and its baby – got stuck in the shallow waters of Ria Formosa in front of Cacela Velha after the tide had lowered.

“They had blisters on their backs due to insolation,” Vila Real de Santo António’s port captain Rui Andrade told Correio da Manhã tabloid.

Members of the Nature and Forest Conservation Institute (ICNF) and the Sea Rescue Institute (ISN) helped the two cetaceans make their way back into the sea at around 6pm once the tide had risen again. A team from Guia’s Zoomarine theme park was called to the scene but the dolphins had already returned to the sea when the specialists arrived.

Earlier that day, crew members of a tour boat owned by Mar Ilimitado also helped free a young orca that was caught in a fishing marker buoy near Vila do Bispo.
The orca was also with its mother which “helped keep it above the surface to breathe”.

Said the company, “this is one of the threats that orcas face in the ocean”.

Meantime, CM reports that a team of researchers from the University of the Algarve is set to begin tests to create acoustic alarms to keep cetaceans away from fishing nets. If it is successful, it can help avoid situations like the orca getting stuck in fishing equipment.

To see a video of the young orca being rescued, go to Mar Ilimitado’s Facebook page.

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