Marine Expert on Orca Population in the Gulf of Mexico - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Marine Expert on Orca Population in the Gulf of Mexico

Posted: Updated:
CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

In light of a recent sighting of orcas in the Gulf of Mexico, marine experts have confirmed that, indeed, there are killer whales out there.

In fact, they said that there is concern that the continuing search for oil in the Gulf could affect their migration.

It was this past weekend when a couple of local fishermen were returning from a fishing tournament, about 85 miles offshore from Port Aransas. That's when they spotted the orcas, and caught it all on video.

Experts at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi were excited to hear about the video of the whales, because one of the last reported sightings was some five years ago.

Harte Research Institute Executive Director Larry McKinney said that orcas are uncommon, but do live in the Gulf. It is believed that there are around 500 of the creatures out there, normally living in the northern part of the Gulf. They usually travel in pods, and there can be hundreds swimming side-by-side.

McKinney said that five years ago, someone sighted a number of orcas in the same area that the fishermen spotted them.

So why did they show up now?

McKinney said that the blue water has moved in off our coast, which is causing large numbers of fish to move through our waters. He believes the orcas were probably following one of those schools of fish.

He also revealed that researchers are now taking a closer look at the animals and how well they are doing in the Gulf these days.

"Because of the increasing oil and gas exploration in the deep waters of the Gulf, there are sound issues," McKinney said. "These marine mammals communicate and find their way by sound, and anything that interferes with it is a concern."

McKinney said very little is known about the Gulf's orcas. He said that nowadays, with so many fisherman carrying video cameras and iPads, video of the animals can prove valuable to researchers.

The Harte Research Institute has a researcher who is an expert on whales and dolphins and will be taking a closer look at the whales in our Gulf waters in the coming years.

  • SpaceX's Dragon on way to International Space Station

    SpaceX's Dragon on way to International Space Station

    (CNN) -- Belching smoke and fire, SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Friday afternoon on a resupply mission to the International Space Station."I'm feeling pretty excited. This is a happy day," said SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk on NASA's space blog after the craft roared into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket.The Dragon is scheduled to rendezvous with the International Space Station Sunday morning. The station's robotic arm will capture...More >>
    (CNN) -- Belching smoke and fire, SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft successfully blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Friday afternoon on a resupply mission to the International Space Station."I'm feeling pretty excited. This is a happy day," said SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk on NASA's space blog after the craft roared into space atop a Falcon 9 rocket.The Dragon is scheduled to rendezvous with the International Space Station Sunday morning. The station's robotic arm will capture...More >>
  • Robstown Stations of the Cross

    Robstown Stations of the Cross

    A Good Friday tradition taking place in Robstown. The ceremony began at St. Mary's Catholic Church and concluded at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. The event meant to symbolize Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion.More >>
    A Good Friday tradition taking place in Robstown. The ceremony began at St. Mary's Catholic Church and concluded at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. The event meant to symbolize Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion.More >>
  • Border Patrol Bust

    Border Patrol Bust

    Saturday, April 19 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-04-19 16:15:58 GMT
    At least 80 immigrants suspected of entering the United States illegally were arrested in a makeshift encampment in suburban South Texas.They were found in an undeveloped patch of scrub near an abandoned tennis club in McAllen. They were camped under tents and huts camouflaged with mesquite branches and cacti. Some told authorities they had been there sleeping on pieces of cardboard with little food or water for at least a week.It was unclear whether any of those arrested Thursday afternoon w...More >>
    At least 80 immigrants suspected of entering the United States illegally were arrested in a makeshift encampment in suburban South Texas.They were found in an undeveloped patch of scrub near an abandoned tennis club in McAllen. They were camped under tents and huts camouflaged with mesquite branches and cacti. Some told authorities they had been there sleeping on pieces of cardboard with little food or water for at least a week.It was unclear whether any of those arrested Thursday afternoon w...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.