“... years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr., 1990
Blue whale, off Dondra
Howard Martenstyn - Independent Marine Researcher
Howard Martenstyn is an independent Sri Lankan born marine researcher. A past Director at CRIOMM, the Centre of Research for Indian Ocean Marine Mammals, Howard has been recognized and honoured by IOMAC for his outstanding research on marine mammals. His website “Sri Lanka’s Amazing Maritime” was judged best Travel & Tourism website in Sri Lanka for 2015. He was also selected as the ‘Natural World Hero’ for August 2015, and has been included in the prestigious Marquis’ ‘Who’s Who in the World 2016’. A previous representative of PRDS - Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat on the steering committee for environmental baseline studies. He is proud of his close association with the Sri Lanka Navy who provided support towards marine research, conservation and education. His greatest accomplishment to date, however is his much acclaimed 272 page book ‘Out of the Blue’ which has sold a record number of copies.
Howard has a particular research interest in marine mammals and their environment as well as in sharks, rays, other commercial fish, sea turtles, seabirds and coral reefs, all of which are important components of Sri Lanka's marine ecosystem. He is also interested in Sri Lanka's maritime heritage. Howard is focused on research and education as it pertains to conservation of wildlife and its environment.
Howard Martenstyn, M.Sc.
Independent Marine Researcher
Education & Certifications
M.Sc., University of Kent, UK, 1987.
Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI, USA, 2001.
Canadian Securities, Canadian Securities Institute, Canada, 2002.
Certified Coxswain, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, 2014.
Awards & Recognitions
Expression of Gratitude, Sri Lanka Navy, 2012.
Outstanding Contribution to Marine Mammal Research, IOMAC, 2013
Best Sri Lankan Website Travel & Tourism, Aug 2015.
Natural World Hero, Natural World Safaris, Aug. 2015.
Discovering the Wonders of Our Region’s Waters, Smriti Daniel, Sunday Times, Dec. 2013.
In-Depth: Out of the Blue, Prasadini Nanayakkara, Explore Sri Lanka, Feb. 2014.
Exciting discovery of new whale in Sri Lankan waters!, Howard Martenstyn, Oct. 2014.
A rare encounter with the Gentle giants of Kalpitiya, News First, May 2015.
Natural World Hero; August , Natural World Safaris, Aug. 2015.
SLAM.LK wins top award for Travel & Tourism Sector – Best Sri Lankan Website, Financial Times, Aug. 2015.
An Outreach to Our Nation, Live chat in Sinhala on Sirasa TV, News First, Aug. 2016.
Have a Passion, Have a Dream and a plan behind your Dream. Heartbeat of Sri Lanka, Pulse.lk, Sep. 2016.
Live Chat on World Tourism Day. TV 1 Newsline, Sep. 2016.
Sri Lanka's marine life: Here today, gone tomorrow? Madushka Balasuriya, Financial Times, Oct. 2016.
Howard Martenstyn – An Invaluable Treasure. Rochelle Palipana, Esteem Magazine, Feb. 2018.
Out of the Blue’ – A deep dive into the oceanic wildlife of Sri Lanka, Archana Heenpella, The Morning - SL News, Dec. 2018.
For further information, you can reach me here: , or by filling this form
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In compiling the information contained in and accessed through this website, Howard Martenstyn has used his best endeavours to ensure that the information is correct and current but takes no responsibility for any error, omission or defect therein. To the extent permitted by law, Howard Martenstyn, his agents and consultants exclude all liability for any loss or damage (including indirect, special or consequential loss or damage) arising from the use of, or reliance on the information contained herein, whether caused or not by any negligent act or omission.
This website contains links to third party websites and resources. Howard Martenstyn is not responsible for the condition or content of these sites or resources as they are not under his control. In addition, he does not necessarily endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites along with their views or the products and services they may offer.
Please cite any usage of information from this website in your publications (including secondary analysis resulting in a publication) as follows:
Martenstyn, H. 2019. Sri Lanka's Amazing Maritime website. <>. Accessed on <date accessed>
Citation supports the contributions of the author and recognizes the contribution of this website to the greater community, which are important facets to the ongoing growth and development of Sri Lanka's maritime knowledge.
Please contact the author of the information in case a substantial proportion is used in secondary analyses. The author may be able to provide additional information to strengthen the analysis or identify features of the data that are important to consider but may not have been apparent.
I wish to acknowledge contributions from several people without whom this website would not be possible.
Website design and development by Howard Martenstyn with consultations from Ajith Egodage, Sahil Gunesekere, Alex Martenstyn, Yuanee Tampoe, and others that generously provided feedback on improvements. This website is powered by wix.com and other third party applications. SLAM logo design by Ajith Egodage.
Content contributions by Rex I. De Silva (Sharks), Dharshana Jayawardena (Shipwrecks), Daniel Fernando (Rays) and Priyanath Kotelawala (Sportfishing).
Photographs from Wade Campbell, Dharshana Jayawardena, Dr. Hiran Jayewardene, Dr. Amal Karunaratna, Howard Martenstyn, Gihan Panditaratne, Oshan Senanayake, Vilmos Vincze, Dilsiri Welikala.
Video strips by Howard Martenstyn.
Whale & dolphin illustrations originally painted by Wijesiri Matugama and Hemantha Warakapitiya.
Sri Lanka basemap on home page sourced from Wikimedia.org and attributed to Uwe Dedering. Mapping by H. Martenstyn.