JKH promote sustainable whale watching

- www.ft.lk

A gallery of images depicting the story of how the Nature Trails team headed by Chitral Jayathilake and Head Naturalist Nilantha Kodithuwakku, launched whale watching in the Eastern coast; was displayed at Chaaya Blu Trincomalee recently.

Once approval was obtained by relevant authorities, the Nature Trails team headed out from Chaaya Blu Trincomalee in their endeavour to discover the lost whales of Trinco.  Nature Trails now work with international marine mammal experts such as Dr. Charles Anderson and Amos Nachoum to expand sustainable whale watching in the East coast.  
The Nature Trails team have promoted sustainable whale watching in the east through different avenues. Primarily this is done by ensuring community development by using small boats belonging to locals. Usage of these small boats in turn amounts to less crowd at sea enabling less disturbance and pollution to the natural habitat of the whales.
The team also uses four stroke gasoline engines as opposed to two stroke which means less environmental pollution. A policy to maintain minimum distance during encounters is followed. The team also conducts and facilitates research on whales, mainly with the aid of field naturalists, sightseeing records and images.
The Nature Trails team have come a long way since its inception, and today Sri Lanka’s wealth of marine mammals have already been documented both outside and underwater by Channel 9 Australia and BBC by Andrew Scott and the Scubazoo teams from Malaysia.
“We have effectively integrated the small island nation into a top whale watching location in the world, and by doing so, given an edge to nature based tourism in Sri Lanka. We now stand ahead of many African destinations where marine mammal watching is not among their attractions,” said Cinnamon and Chaaya Resorts Head of Eco Tourism and Special Projects Chitral Jayathileke.  
 

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