SriLankan Airlines together with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) of UK has launched a project to raise awareness and to combat the irresponsible, unregulated whale watching practice in Sri Lanka's whale watching sites.
The partnership will engage local stakeholders and wildlife tourism industries which will help to fund and promote the conservation project named BLUEprint. Jetwing Hotels and Keells Hotel Management are also partnered with the project.
The project BLUEprint aims to develop a community-based responsible whale and dolphin watching industry off the coast of Sri Lanka and encourage responsible behavior amongst local boat tour operators.
To raise awareness the national carrier will show a movie on board to highlight the partnership with the wildlife charity and raise money for the charity through the on-board sale of plush whales, with all profits going to WDC.
"Sri Lanka is one of the best countries in the world in which to enjoy whale watching, with a variety of blue whales, sperm whales and 25 other cetacean species to be seen. However, these beautiful creatures are increasingly threatened and endangered by a combination of irresponsible, unregulated whale watching and ship strikes," the airline said in a statement.
Initially, the project will be launched in Mirissa, in the south west of the island, currently the most popular whale watching destination in Sri Lanka.