Call for better protection of blue whales off Sri Lanka

Young Blue whale breaching off Sri Lanka's southern beaches

Young Blue whale breaching off Sri Lanka's southern beaches

Since it became known that Sri Lanka was a great destination for whale and dolphin watching we have included it in our programme. In fact we were probably one of the first UK tour operators to offer this great opportunity.

When we went out to experience the trip in Sri Lanka two boats operated in the area and both were responsible, taking into consideration animal welfare and client safety.

However whale watching has soared in popularity and many boats have since started to offer whale and dolphin watching trips. Most of this is unfortunately unregulated and in a bid to offer their clients the best possible sighting some boat operators ignore the wellbeing of the animals and some may disregard the safety of those on board.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has launched an appeal for the Sri Lankan government to put clear and strict guidelines in place to ensure that the whale and dolphin watching industry operates in a safe and responsible manner. This will not only allow the many whales to traverse the Sri Lankan waters with minimal disturbance but it also means that the whale watching industry is protected and can continue to operate so that all visitors to the area can enjoy the unique encounters that Sri Lanka has to offer.

Audley Travel warmheartedly supports this great initiative by the WDCS and has written to the Sri Lankan government in an effort to get the necessary legislation in place.

To date, a remarkable 27 species have been recorded in Sri Lankan waters, including the blue whale, sperm whale, Bryde’s whale and Cuvier’s beaked whale, plus numerous dolphin species including spinner, spotted, common, Risso’s and Fraser’s dolphins. Largest, and arguably the most impressive, of these is the blue whale. Decimated by whaling last century, as few as 10,000 blue whales remain worldwide and the species is classified as endangered.

To find out more visit the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society website or to plan a visit to Sri Lanka call our specialists on 01993 838 335 or visit our website.

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