Whales of the Maldives

The Maldives is justly renowned for its idyllic tropical climate, beautiful islands and stunning coral reefs. But it is not widely known that the Maldives is also home to an abundance of whales and dolphins. They are the country's best kept secret!

The great attraction of Maldivian whales and dolphins is their diversity. About 25 species are expected to occur in Maldivian waters. 19 have been positively identified to date. These are not dusty old museum records. They are based on recent sightings. On one particular trip in 1998, 16 different species were recorded!

Among the whales, the big three are the blue whale, Bryde's whale and sperm whale. Shortfin pilot whales are particularly common, while other specialities include dwarf sperm whales and Cuvier's beaked whales. Melon-headed whales are commonest around the southern atolls, where they occur in enormous schools of 500 or more, and regularly bowride.

Among the dolphins, by far the most abundant, and the most acrobatic, is the spinner dolphin. Risso's dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins and striped dolphins are all common. Fraser's dolphins and rough-toothed dolphins also occur



Cetacean research in the Maldives is in its infancy, and there is still much to learn. However, several exciting discoveries have already been made.


The Whale and Dolphin Company, Maldives  

  False killer whales

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