Whale Watching

The whale watching is a high concentration of blue whales and sperm whales has been spotted in the seas off Dondra Head along the deep south coast of Sri Lanka during the months of November to April. Alankuda beach in Kalpitiya is the best places if you are interested in seeing dolphins. During November to March is the best season to go Dolphin Watching off Kalpitiya. Whale and Dolphin watching is also possible during June to September off the eastern shores such as Trincomalee.

Whales like deep waters. Whales communicate with sound. They use long songs and clicks and noise from ship propellers create a lot of background noise that could disrupt their communication.

Off Dondra Head or Mirissa the continental shelf narrows sharply. Marine biologist Anderson believes some of the blue whales off Dondra Head could be resident whales while others could be migratory ones crossing over to the Arabian Sea from the Bay of Bengal. He suspected that in January they would be passing Sri Lanka on the way to Bay of Bengal and in April they will be passing Sri Lanka again down the south coast passing Maldives to the Arabian Sea.

About the species

There are 13 species of great whale and several species of smaller whales. Some, such as the blue whale and the fin whale are found in oceans right across the world. This includes around the UK, where the seas are among the richest in Europe for whales. Other species are unique to particular continents; for example the North Atlantic right whale is rarely seen outside North America.

There are two kinds of whale: the baleen and the toothed.

Baleen (or whalebone) whales get their name from its feeding apparatus: a series of comb-like baleen plates that descend from the roof of the mouth. Made of stiff, flexible material similar to human fingernails, baleen acts like a sieve, allowing the whale to strain food such as small fish, krill and plankton out of the water. Baleen whales include the blue and humpback whale.

Toothed whales, which include the sperm whale, has well-developed echolocation, that it uses to locate others and to hunt fish, squid and other marine mammals.

Despite decades of legal protection, seven of the 13 great whale species are endangered or vulnerable. For example, there are thought to be only 3,000-5,000 blue whales left.