Whale watching in Sri Lanka has gone from a tiny minority pursuit of just a few hundred visitors a year, to over 30,000 a year since 2010. The warm water, t-shirt weather and a fleet of local fishing boats have spurred the growing awareness of this pursuit.
It has been managed expertly. You can see why SriLankan Airlines want to protect whales and dolphins. They’re helping put measures in place to ensure these stunning wild mammals and their habitat remain unharmed by the impact of increased activity on their waters. With whale numbers dropping across the world it’s great to hear about whales and dolphins thriving in the Indian Ocean.
Sri Lanka’s seas are brimming with different species of wild mammals. Whale and dolphin watchers can see: blue whales, bryde´s whales, sperm whales, fin whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and striped dolphins.
It’s not just the whales who are benefiting from improved regulation – local fisherman now work in a more sustainable and structured industry. SriLankan Airlines’ work could give a boost to the local economy, providing vital income for the community.
They launched Project Blueprint with a group of hotels to ensure that whales and dolphins and their environment remain unharmed by a recent boom in tourism.
The influx of visitors occurred after increased whale sightings on the south coast led to a large amount of locals with vessels offering tourists whale watching tours. SriLankan Airlines noticed this influx and soon realised that this blossoming industry was going unregulated. They worked with Keells Hotels and Jetwing Hotels to introduce safety regulations to ensure that vessels were safe for tourists and the whales and dolphins that they find so fascinating.
Watch our short film about SriLankan Airlines’ work in the field featuring an interview with Manoj Gunawardena, Chief Commercial Officer at SriLankan Airlines as well as some stunning shots of whales off the coast of Sri Lanka.