Nautilus Project Launches Orcinus App

The Nautilus Project have launched their second app today.

The Orcinus app is a reporting and tracking app which allows users to view and make reports relating to Orca whale sightings and encounters across the world.

The new app records the presence of orcas in real time and shares this information with the entire community of Orcinus app users. Reports of sightings instantly provide navigators with data to aid planning their routes

The main objective of Orcinus is to contribute to safer navigation making it possible to find out both in advance and instantaneously of killer whales in the area, geolocated by other vessels that will have recorded their sightings

Given the recent issues that have arisen with interactions with these mammals during recreational sailing, the app will help with safe passage for both these magnificent creatures and sailors alike

The app, endorsed by the Xunta of Galicia, is now officially launched throughout all the national Ports with over 3000 active users already.

A statement continued: “Our thanks to the Young Enterprise groups that supported the event showcasing their products. The occasion was shared with different local seafarers, the Minister for the Environment, our charity trustees and Patron, and some of our Duke of Edinburgh participants. Special thanks to Gibraltar Sports & Leisure Authority for the conference rooms and to Aaron and Natalia for making the magic happen. We continue making waves!”

18th May 2023
Orcinus, a marine science orca-sighting app that was developed by The Nautilus Project, scooped the top prize at the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses’ Business Innovation Awards on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Legal Balance, a coaching service aimed at helping “lawyers turn into rainmakers”, came in as runner-up.

The Business Innovation Awards were held at the Sapphire Bar in the Sunborn on Tuesday and featured six finalists from local companies.

Each business had three minutes to present their businesses.

The competition was tough this year and the work was cut out for the judges, the GFSB’s Eran Shay and Kathryn Morgan, as well as Gibtelecom’s Danny Hook, to select the winners.

The other finalists that formed part of the competition were Truly Conscious, a mental health and well-being company that uses various holistic practices to help individuals, businesses and athletes; Purple Media, a marketing and media agency based in Gibraltar that helps clients achieve their goals using Artificial Intelligence; and content and marketing agency Motion (Gibraltar) Ltd, founded by David Revagliatte, who launched the GFSB Business Podcast during the Covid pandemic.

Now in its fourth season, the podcast has spoken to a range of businesses and stakeholders in Gibraltar’s economy.

Finally, Rock Learning last year launched the Ethical Gambling Forum which this year saw interested parties from other jurisdictions travel to Gibraltar for the event.

Jo Abergel, Director of Rock Learning, told judges that, in one year, the event was able to double the number of attendees, and bring together different regulators, operators and companies all under one roof.

“As always the decision has been very, very difficult and it has been a tough judging process,” Mr Shay told the finalists.

“As part of our judging process we have been looking at what is the innovation brought by businesses.”

“It can be something that is completely innovative but it can also be something that is completely innovative to Gibraltar.”

Employability, changing the way things are done, environmental factors, the impact these businesses have, the level of investment and how they showcase the Rock also formed part of the decision process.


Marine biologist and founder of The Nautilus Project, Lewis Stagnetto, was surprised to win the Business Innovation Award.

Orcinus is a marine science app that helps sailors in the Strait of Gibraltar monitor and report sightings of orcas.

The aim is to facilitate safer marine navigation for both sailors and the animals themselves by using geolocation to track them.

Mr Stagnetto worked closely with the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute based in Galicia, Spain, and the app has been endorsed by the Xunta de Galicia.

“The purpose of this app is to solve a real world problem which is the negative interaction that is happening between orcas and boats,” Mr Stagnetto told the Chronicle.

“In terms of take up, the app was launched in January and since then we have had some 3,000 people sign up, and we have already got a growing community of sailors.”

“Since that time we have had a massive amount of sightings, to date we have had 250 individual sightings of orcas with different interaction levels, showing where the animals are.”

The data from these sightings is being collected and will be analysed by marine scientists to better understand these “negative interactions” between orcas and vessels.

Mr Stagnetto believes this is happening for a number of reasons.

“The animals that are doing this are basically teenagers,” Mr Stagnetto said.

“In our species the juveniles are probably the ones that get up to no good the most, and they also experiment the most.”

“There is an idea permeating the scientific community is that they are honing their hunting skills.”

“If they are in the Strait their main food source is Bluefin Tuna and an adult orca can eat up to 250kg of food a day.”

“And what these orcas are doing is sharpening their skills on the rudders of boats that cut through the water like the Bluefin Tuna, they are using this to practice.”

Mr Stagnetto said another theory is that fishing for tuna in the Strait is “creating a pressure” for the orcas to be able to find their food, adding that it is “exacerbating the problem”.

Within Gibraltar, the sailing schools are using the Orcinus app, and it has also been used by sailors passing through Gibraltar.

“We want to understand as well as possible the hotspots of activity, where it is happening, potentially why it is happening and how we can try to manage this at a higher level to try and protect the sailors and animals,” Mr Stagnetto said about the data that is being gathered.


Amanda and Scott Simmons founded Legal Balance in the UK and moved to Gibraltar some two years ago where they operate their firm.

The company helps to train and coach lawyers on how to bring businesses to their firms, and they work with small independent lawyers, start-ups and bigger companies around the world.

Although Gibraltar has many lawyers, this was not their intention when they came here.

“These issues are global,” Mr Simmons told the Chronicle.

“Stress, suicide, burnout, they are global across the entire industry and what we are trying to do is the little things we can to bring about the change that helps lawyers, the legal industry and clients as well to help move the industry forward.”

Mrs Simmons said the pressures of pricing and billing hours impacts all lawyers in the trade.

“We have a lot of female clients as well because I think they sometimes need that extra help,” Mrs Simmons added.

“Because this is a very male-dominated industry, women sometimes need that extra coaching and reassurance when they are reaching those higher ranks and want to bring in that extra work.”

Mr Simmons said the service gives women that “extra boost in confidence”, adding that, in the UK, 50% of lawyers are women but that number is not reflected in the number of female partners.

At present they only have one client in Gibraltar but hope to change things going forward and expand their business going forward.