The rise of whale watching in Sri Lanka has become a fantastic feature of holidays in Sri Lanka in recent times. Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the world’s best destinations for whale watching. We include fantastic whale watching trips in a lot of our holidays.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, while fully supporting whale watching, has issued a plea for more regulation and control on the sector. There are responsible operators (including Mirissa Whale Watching and The Eco Team whom we use) but there is a startling growth in unregulated boats:
In a press release the WDCS said:
The highly experienced local naturalist, Anoma Algiyawadu, commented recently on the proliferation of boats at Mirissa, with around 20 boats, large and small, swarming around the whales: “Some boats are not registered, the guides are not properly trained and boatmen operate without safety measures in place. Some boats do not supply life jackets or other safety equipment and they have no passenger insurance. Some of the boats want to oblige their clients by trying to get as close as possible to the blue whales. Some of them speed on the waters and this disturbs the whales. These mammals are shy but if you don’t disturb them, they will be swimming around. But if they move away, it means they are disturbed.”
Along with other responsible travel companies both in the UK and Sri Lanka itself, We are calling on the Sri Lankan Government to introduce controls both for the whales and also for safety of passengers.