Blue Whale Photo ID

Mirissa Water Sports is supporting a citizen science project to study the Blue Whales off Sri Lanka. One of its aims is to build the skills and experience of Sri Lankans who aspire to be professional marine biologists. However visitors to Sri Lanka on holiday can also participate if they are willing to take and share images and opportunistic observations.

More information is provided in the accompanying pdfs.

We also welcome receiving images of Blue Whales taken by anyone, resident or visitor, who has been whale watching in Sri Lanka.

  • Dates: The season runs from November – April
  • Duration: For people who can participate in the project by going out on the whale watching boats for a period from 2 weeks to 3 months, Mirissa Water Sports (MWS) will provide the boat trips free of charge. All participants, be they be resident Sri Lankans or visitors on holiday are responsible for their own travel and logistics arrangements. In exchange for free boat trips, participants must upload images daily for analysis by the project and take photographs to the required standard.

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What do participants get to do?

Participants will have the opportunity to join the crew on daily whale watching trips with Mirissa Water Sports. We are happy for you to engage with the whale watching clients and talk about marine wildlife (training resources are available) to help you develop your public engagement skills. The core task is to photograph the Blue Whales for identification. You can develop skills including cetacean field identification, photo id and public-speaking. Although a key inspiration for this project was to provide a training ground for young Sri Lankans, there are no age or nationality constraints. If you are a foreign visitor on holiday with excellent spoken English skills and time to whale watch for 2 weeks or more, in addition to taking Blue Whale photographs we would love to have you engage with the crew and the local community to improve their English.

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How to apply?

For more information please contact Georgina Gemmell. Her contact email is on the pdfs on this web page.