26 Aug Whale Watching Sri Lanka
Whale watching is a recreational activity of observing whales in their natural habitat. Sri Lanka has become famous over the past few years for this particular water activity. Whale watching and Dolphin watching is a very contributive class in tourist industry in Sri Lanka. The rapid growth of the industry has led to complex and continue the debate of whaling industry and using whales as a natural resource and also it has become important to developing countries like ours, as the coastal communities gain a profit directly adding a popular support for the protection of these animals.
The largest animal to have ever existed in the world is living near the small pearl of the Indian Ocean. During the whale watching season November- April the Southern and Northwestern part of the island is flooded with both locals and foreigners annually. The ocean gets warmer and calmer during this season. Of the 80 species of cetaceans observed and identified worldwide, 26 are found in the Indian ocean and the Bay of Bengal. In the warm waters of Sri Lankan sea, many kinds if whales can be spotted. Mostly the enormous blue whales- the supreme felicity of the expedition, the killer whale – the jumbo killer in the animal kingdom, the sperm whale- the second bulkiest toothed whale that embody the largest brain ever on an animal and many more whale types can be seen clearly in the calm waters of the season rather than the other times of the year where the waters is relatively violent .
Blue whales are the most reliably seen whales of all the different kinds of whales. The animal that is as big and loud as a jet plane swims so close to the island’s Southern tip that’s so close to the deep waters of the continental shelf. Whales would eat about 6 tons of tiny shrimps peculiar to these warmer coastal waters with colder waters of the continental shelf.
As the sun rose up from the sea, the bulky giant arched through the waters snouting with its massive blowholes looking like a blue line drawn to link the sky and the sea. Little by little more lines starts to draw up as the whales had their breakfast jumping up and down in the sea.
The first sign to spot a whale is its breathing behavior. As much as whales are humongous and can stay up to 30 minutes in the water, it have to surface back to get oxygen because unlike other fish who has gills to breath, being mammals and having lungs they breath via their blowholes.
As this industry is vastly booming in 20% per annum, Sri Lanka is the only country that provides contradictory visions. A biodiversity so vast, that in a single day, one can also visit the nicest views of the largest land mammal- Elephants in Yala and Minneriya and visit the largest marine mammal- Whales.
The optimal and most famed place for this is Mirissa in the Southern coast of Sri Lanka. One journey to watch Whales in a safe distance without disturbing their course would be up to 3-5 hours.
The tourist attractions in Sri Lanka has captured the hearts around the world in a short time span and Whale watching in Mirissa has grown in to a reputed destination as the best to see Blue Whales in the world.
These whale watching activities are primarily done by the professionals of the Sri Lankan Navy earlier in 2011 but later as it grew, now a number of boat operators and tourists agencies monitored by the Coast guard is dedicated to provide the best in hospitality.
The SL Coast guard regulates all the whale watching cruises and boats from Mirissa to Dondra. More than 50 boats are operated at Mirissa and Weligama for the zealousness of foreigners and locals to enterprise into giant’s habitat. A large number of foreigners of about 70 countries have visited this destination during the 2016 season. The SLCG takes responsibility of all the visitor’s safety out at the sea. The SLCG has given instructions and educated the boat operators on safety aspects and a code of conduct for a reliable whale watching industry as well as to guarantee best of whale watching. The passengers were made aware of the rules and safety precautions before and throughout the trip. Now that the tourist industry and whale watching is expanding the authorities demand quality of the supply and hospitality as much as the eco-friendliness. The rapid growth of this industry was a threat to whale behavior, migratory patterns, and breeding cycles that significantly affected the biology and ecology of the whales.
The rules and regulations in whale watching has become strict over the past seven years due to unregulated and negligent people who will drive them away or try to dive with them or get closer to an unsafe distance as much as the boat operators’ carelessnesses has brought issues to this industry.
An island so beautiful and has become a home for the extinct prone giants in the 20th century. Now only 15,000 blue whales remain worldwide.
Small island in the Indian Ocean home to the world’s largest land and marine mammals. A contradiction so pure, together they both adorn each other.