Just back from Sri Lanka!
I spent 3 weeks on the south coast researching the local population of blue whales that feed and breed off the coast.
You'd think that finding a blue whale in such a vast mass of ocean would be near to impossible - we managed to see 4 or 5 most days.
The first thing you notice when you head out from the shore is a horizon full of huge cargo ships. Unfortunately the blue whales share their home with the busy Sri Lankan shipping lane. This results in many collisions and quite commonly results in the death of many whales.
The Sri Lankan government aren't too keen to move the shipping lanes further south as they think this might result in loss of income to the island. We are talking just 15km so nothing drastic. But this small change could save the lives and further population of the blue whales.
On my last visit to Sri Lanka I sadly witnessed a washed up blue whale on one of the beaches. It looked like it had been hit by a ship. Thousands of people were gathered around in the pouring rain - it was heartbreaking.
Sri Lanka is home to many species of whales. There's not many places in the world where you can see Right Whales, Orca, Humpbacks, Blues and Sperm whales! I encourage more people to visit this wonderful island and explore the ocean.
I'm currently working on running a trip in Sri Lanka to swim with blue whales. This trip will also combine research and conservation. Watch this space....