Record Sighting of Fraser's Dolphins



Thousands of Fraser's dolphins were sighted off the Kalpitiya peninsular in Sri Lankan pelagic waters (4-6 nautical miles from shore) for two consecutive days.

On the second day (December 12), the group was first seen at N8 11.268 E79 36.914 and faily evenly distributed over a 1.1 nautical mile longititudinal range. Also recorded were 5 sperm whales, about 100 pilot whales and 30-50 Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins.

The largest previous sighting on record for Fraser's dolphins in the CRIOMM database was 500+ on March 8, 2010 off the Sri Lankan south coast.

The Fraser's dolphin is a distinctly-coloured animal with a robust body and extremely small appendages. The striking colouration of this species varies with age and sex.

Pods churn the water energetically as they swim, generating a distinctive frothy wake. They swim quickly in large, tightly-packed pods, often porpoising and sometimes bow-riding. During this sighting long periods of bow-riding occured at very slow speeds, about 2 knots.

Fraser’s dolphins typically inhabit the high seas and feed in deep oceanic waters. Members of this species rarely stray into shallower water over a continental shelf.

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