OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
The Ocean Resources Conservation Association (ORCA) is an organisation dedicated to the study, management, conservation and restoration of Coastal and Marine environments, species and natural resources in Sri Lanka. The group is involved in many aspects of marine life surveys focussing on Coral reefs, Marine Mammals, Mangroves, Sea grass, coasts and Oceanic wildlife.  Along with our sister organization Natcog the ORCA has been involved in Marine issues ranging from Coral reef conservation,management and restoration and invasive species management on coral environments, Marine mammal fishery regulation and developing sustainable practices in whale watching tourism. The group has also been involved in lobbying on Marine Pollution prevention issues, unsustainable coastal development, Management of the ornamental marine aquarium industry, and management of allied marine habitats including Sea grasses and mangroves, The organisation operates in partnership with the Nature Conservation Group (Natcog) a group that has more than 20 years of active involvement in conservation of Marine resources in Sri Lanka and  presently inherits and continues the programs initiated under Natcog as well. Among the main activities of ORCA  a Coral reef restoration program in the Southern coast of Sri Lanka focussing on the Rumassala coral reef in Galle. and a sustainable management of a community based whale and dolphin watching activity in kalpitiya. and survey and promotion of the Kayankerni coral reef as a Marine Park is significant. 
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
Dedicated to Protecting our seas.
Nature Conservation Group
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact Home
OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
The Ocean Resources Conservation Association (ORCA) is an organisation dedicated to the study, management, conservation and restoration of Coastal and Marine environments, species and natural resources in Sri Lanka. The group is involved in many aspects of marine life surveys focussing on Coral reefs, Marine Mammals, Mangroves, Sea grass, coasts and Oceanic wildlife.  Along with our sister organization Natcog the ORCA has been involved in Marine issues ranging from Coral reef conservation,management and restoration and invasive species management on coral environments, Marine mammal fishery regulation and developing sustainable practices in whale watching tourism. The group has also been involved in lobbying on Marine Pollution prevention issues, unsustainable coastal development, Management of the ornamental marine aquarium industry, and management of allied marine habitats including Sea grasses and mangroves, The organisation operates in partnership with the Nature Conservation Group (Natcog) a group that has more than 20 years of active involvement in conservation of Marine resources in Sri Lanka and  presently inherits and continues the programs initiated under Natcog as well. Among the main activities of ORCA  a Coral reef restoration program in the Southern coast of Sri Lanka focussing on the Rumassala coral reef in Galle. and a sustainable management of a community based whale and dolphin watching activity in kalpitiya. and survey and promotion of the Kayankerni coral reef as a Marine Park is significant. 
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Dedicated to Protecting our seas.
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Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
‘ORCA’ was established in 2007 as a sister organisation to the ‘Natcog’-Nature Conservation Group (initiated in 1992) to continue the programs and work Natcog was involved in previously. together the organizations share a significant and continuous involvement in research, conservation and restoration of coral reefs in Sri Lanka that span over two decades. and stand among the leading non governmental bodies involved in marine conservation in Sri Lanka. The group has conducted research in to status and bio-diversity of reefs and causes of reef degradation and impact mitigation. The group have also been involved in a pioneering activity in coral habitat restoration using re attaching broken coral fragments on to the reef using cementing techniques. and has done leading work on invasive species monitoring and management at Rumassala and other reef sites in Sri Lanka. 
Restoration of degraded Coral environments.
Rumassala Project The ORCA/Natcog teams involvement with the Rumassala coral reef go back in to the early 1990’s when the Natcog teams conducted a 3 year intense survey of the coral reef at Buona-vista, Rumassala (now better known as Jungle beach.) to study the status and Biodiversity of the reef. the report published in 1994 and updated in 1996 recorded over 480 species of fish and about 300 species of reef invertebrate species. The survey findings were became the core of the campaign to save the reef from the destruction it faced from the proposed Galle Harbour development project. The regular and long term monitoring of the Rumassala Reef provided a significant baseline study of Sri Lankan reef ecology and changes and threats to coral environments in Southern Sri Lanka. The team collected data on Human impacts both direct and indirect. The emerging and significant threat of Invasive marine species- its impact and management on coral reefs, and monitored the reef through out the 1998 coral bleaching and mass mortality event. and pioneered coral reef restoration activities in Sri Lanka with a significant and long term program which contributed to increase the post 1998 coral cover of 20% to over 50% by 2007. The Rumassala reef report (1996) is available for free download in the publication section of this website.
Training DWLC, Hikkaduwa Marine Park staff in Marine biology, coral reef ecology, species identification and diving skill development at Hikkaduwa, Pigeon Islands and Kalpitiya Bar-reef Marine Parks.
Training Sri Lanka Customs Biodiversity unit in Marine environmental management issues and identification of Marine protected fauna.
Annual field training for Jayawardanapura university- biology students in Marine Ecology, Identification and Management issues by Natcog/ORCA teams.
Community training and livelihood development activities at Rumassala.
Training Awareness and community development work
Nature Conservation Group
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
In 1996 Nature Conservation Group teams initiated an experimental restoration program of degraded coral environments by rescuing broken coral fragments and raising them in Coal nurseries and replanting the corals back on to the reef substrates. The team experimented with many coral replanting techniques and found re setting coral using cement to be the most effective low cost technique in a Sri Lankan context. during the period of 2003 to 2010 over 15000 coral units were replanted by the teams. The technique developed by Natcog/ORCA teams ensure minimal damage to corals requiring no removal of the corals out of the water at any stage of the process and no toxicity problems to marine life as well as providing a almost immediate  solid attachment of coral fragments to the reef requiring no settling in period. The added advantage of the system is that it does not harm the visual aesthetics of the reef. The system also ensures a very high survival rate of replanted coral and fast assimilation of replants in to the natural reef environment. Further information of techniques used by ORCA/Natcog is available in the free publication REEF HELP GUIDE available for download in the publications section of this site.
Maintenance of Coral nurseries
Newly replanted corals
Rescuing broken coral fragments to be used for replanting reef areas.
Marine Mammal Surveys and campaign against Dolphin Fishery
The Natcog/ORCA have been involved in survey of Marine Mammals and Oceanic wildlife for two decades engaged in monitoring Whales and Dolphins going offshore in hired fishing boats, The teams also monitored Whale standings on the Southern and Western coasts. Natcog was involved in monitoring direct and by catch Dolphin mortality in the South coast and was among the key NGO’s who prevented the attempts at legalizing the Killing of Dolphins for meat. ORCA carried out a sustainable marine tourism initiative to train and facilitate the developing Marine Mammal tourism trade in Kalpitiya area. 
The Group have been involved in promoting sustainable Management of the Ornamental Aquarium trade and the extraction of reef fauna for export food fishery. Through surveys of extraction pressure and direct and indirect impact of marine ecosystems. campaigning to expand legal framework and policy and providing training and assistance in detections for Enforcement agencies including Sri Lanka Customs Bio-diversity unit and DWLC staff.
Promoting Sustainable Management of the Ornamental Aquarium and food fish Marine  Export Trade
Maintenance of Plant nurseries and post Tsunami coastal vegetation rehabilitation Program in Association with Neo-synthesis Research Centre (NSRC)
School awareness programs and beach cleaning activities
Introduction and Background
Introduction
Home OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
‘ORCA’ was established in 2007 as a sister organisation to the ‘Natcog’-Nature Conservation Group (initiated in 1992) to continue the programs and work Natcog was involved in previously. together the organizations share a significant and continuous involvement in research, conservation and restoration of coral reefs in Sri Lanka that span over two decades. and stand among the leading non governmental bodies involved in marine conservation in Sri Lanka. The group has conducted research in to status and bio-diversity of reefs and causes of reef degradation and impact mitigation. The group have also been involved in a pioneering activity in coral habitat restoration using re attaching broken coral fragments on to the reef using cementing techniques. and has done leading work on invasive species monitoring and management at Rumassala and other reef sites in Sri Lanka. 
Restoration of degraded Coral environments.
Rumassala Project The ORCA/Natcog teams involvement with the Rumassala coral reef go back in to the early 1990’s when the Natcog teams conducted a 3 year intense survey of the coral reef at Buona-vista, Rumassala (now better known as Jungle beach.) to study the status and Biodiversity of the reef. the report published in 1994 and updated in 1996 recorded over 480 species of fish and about 300 species of reef invertebrate species. The survey findings were became the core of the campaign to save the reef from the destruction it faced from the proposed Galle Harbour development project. The regular and long term monitoring of the Rumassala Reef provided a significant baseline study of Sri Lankan reef ecology and changes and threats to coral environments in Southern Sri Lanka. The team collected data on Human impacts both direct and indirect. The emerging and significant threat of Invasive marine species- its impact and management on coral reefs, and monitored the reef through out the 1998 coral bleaching and mass mortality event. and pioneered coral reef restoration activities in Sri Lanka with a significant and long term program which contributed to increase the post 1998 coral cover of 20% to over 50% by 2007. The Rumassala reef report (1996) is available for free download in the publication section of this website.
Training DWLC, Hikkaduwa Marine Park staff in Marine biology, coral reef ecology, species identification and diving skill development at Hikkaduwa, Pigeon Islands and Kalpitiya Bar-reef Marine Parks.
Training Sri Lanka Customs Biodiversity unit in Marine environmental management issues and identification of Marine protected fauna.
Annual field training for Jayawardanapura university- biology students in Marine Ecology, Identification and Management issues by Natcog/ORCA teams.
Community training and livelihood development activities at Rumassala.
Training Awareness and community development work
Nature Conservation Group
In 1996 Nature Conservation Group teams initiated an experimental restoration program of degraded coral environments by rescuing broken coral fragments and raising them in Coal nurseries and replanting the corals back on to the reef substrates. The team experimented with many coral replanting techniques and found re setting coral using cement to be the most effective low cost technique in a Sri Lankan context. during the period of 2003 to 2010 over 15000 coral units were replanted by the teams. The technique developed by Natcog/ORCA teams ensure minimal damage to corals requiring no removal of the corals out of the water at any stage of the process and no toxicity problems to marine life as well as providing a almost immediate  solid attachment of coral fragments to the reef requiring no settling in period. The added advantage of the system is that it does not harm the visual aesthetics of the reef. The system also ensures a very high survival rate of replanted coral and fast assimilation of replants in to the natural reef environment. Further information of techniques used by ORCA/Natcog is available in the free publication REEF HELP GUIDE available for download in the publications section of this site.
Maintenance of Coral nurseries
Newly replanted corals
Rescuing broken coral fragments to be used for replanting reef areas.
Marine Mammal Surveys and campaign against Dolphin Fishery
The Natcog/ORCA have been involved in survey of Marine Mammals and Oceanic wildlife for two decades engaged in monitoring Whales and Dolphins going offshore in hired fishing boats, The teams also monitored Whale standings on the Southern and Western coasts. Natcog was involved in monitoring direct and by catch Dolphin mortality in the South coast and was among the key NGO’s who prevented the attempts at legalizing the Killing of Dolphins for meat. ORCA carried out a sustainable marine tourism initiative to train and facilitate the developing Marine Mammal tourism trade in Kalpitiya area. 
The Group have been involved in promoting sustainable Management of the Ornamental Aquarium trade and the extraction of reef fauna for export food fishery. Through surveys of extraction pressure and direct and indirect impact of marine ecosystems. campaigning to expand legal framework and policy and providing training and assistance in detections for Enforcement agencies including Sri Lanka Customs Bio-diversity unit and DWLC staff.
Promoting Sustainable Management of the Ornamental Aquarium and food fish Marine  Export Trade
Maintenance of Plant nurseries and post Tsunami coastal vegetation rehabilitation Program in Association with Neo- synthesis Research Centre (NSRC)
School awareness programs and beach cleaning activities
Introduction and Background
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OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Coral reef Research, Conservation and Restoration Program- Reef Keeper
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
Entanglement in fishing nets.
Trampling by fishermen and tourists.
Invasive sp. Corallimorph.
Invasive species. - Encrusting black sponge (c.f. Terpios.sp)
Invasive algae - Caulerpa sp.
Invasive species - Crown of Thorns- Sea-star Acanthaster planci is becoming the species of most concern again in the East Coast reefs
Shores of Sri Lanka is rich in marine resources and Bio-diversity,  Historically the coastline was encircled by a ring of reefs from very shallow to great depths and from rich Coral to sandstone reefs. True coral reefs live in shallow coastal waters in Sri Lanka and contain a very high bio-diversity, productivity and aesthetics. Though local populations have harvested the resources of the coral reefs for centuries the changing fishery practices, levels of extraction, Pollution, Coastal development and visitor pressure has began taking a heavy toll on the reefs. In addition to the human impacts the reefs have been subjected to severe natural catastrophes including Coral bleaching events, Tsunami, Severe storms and infestations of invasive reef organisms. Sri Lanka has lost most of her once glorious coral reefs.  All major coral reefs in the South coast are now highly degraded or extinct. Good coral reefs survive only in the East coast and the North-west of the country which was kept safe from human impacts for decades due to the War, in the post war scenario the reefs are being degraded at an alarming rate and if no immediate remedial action is taken will go the way of their Southern counterparts within a very short time.
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
The Indian Ocean wide Coral bleaching/Mortality event dealt unprecedented devastation to the Coral reefs of Sri Lanka. The reefs of the Southern, Western and South eastern sea boards suffered heavy damage with many reefs becoming extinct, ones that survived had suffered severe damage and lost most of their live coral cover and associated bio-diversity. The once reef dominant Stag horn corals were all but extinct in the South causing extensive re-modelling of structural and habitat frame work of the surviving reefs. Most southern reefs became nothing more than vast coral graveyards. with time the degrading dead coral caused another catastrophe by breaking up in to massive quantities of coral rubble which covered most reef surfaces available for recolonisation. the unstable reef substrates prevented recovery of reef areas as well as the impact of suspension of the coral fragments with storm waves which caused severe impact damage to surviving corals in the reef areas.
Blast crater created by reef Dynamite fishing
Dead coral reef
Bleached Coral during the 1998 event.
Reef Invasive species monitoring and Management.
Human threats to coral reefs
1998 Coral bleaching event
Status of Coral reefs in Sri Lanka past/present
Coral reef program
OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Coral reef Research, Conservation and Restoration Program- Reef Keeper
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Entanglement in fishing nets.
Trampling by fishermen and tourists.
Invasive sp. Corallimorph.
Invasive species. - Encrusting black sponge (c.f. Terpios.sp)
Invasive algae - Caulerpa sp.
Invasive species - Crown of Thorns- Sea-star Acanthaster planci is becoming the species of most concern again in the East Coast reefs
Shores of Sri Lanka is rich in marine resources and Bio-diversity,  Historically the coastline was encircled by a ring of reefs from very shallow to great depths and from rich Coral to sandstone reefs. True coral reefs live in shallow coastal waters in Sri Lanka and contain a very high bio-diversity, productivity and aesthetics. Though local populations have harvested the resources of the coral reefs for centuries the changing fishery practices, levels of extraction, Pollution, Coastal development and visitor pressure has began taking a heavy toll on the reefs. In addition to the human impacts the reefs have been subjected to severe natural catastrophes including Coral bleaching events, Tsunami, Severe storms and infestations of invasive reef organisms. Sri Lanka has lost most of her once glorious coral reefs.  All major coral reefs in the South coast are now highly degraded or extinct. Good coral reefs survive only in the East coast and the North-west of the country which was kept safe from human impacts for decades due to the War, in the post war scenario the reefs are being degraded at an alarming rate and if no immediate remedial action is taken will go the way of their Southern counterparts within a very short time.
The Indian Ocean wide Coral bleaching/Mortality event dealt unprecedented devastation to the Coral reefs of Sri Lanka. The reefs of the Southern, Western and South eastern sea boards suffered heavy damage with many reefs becoming extinct, ones that survived had suffered severe damage and lost most of their live coral cover and associated bio-diversity. The once reef dominant Stag horn corals were all but extinct in the South causing extensive re-modelling of structural and habitat frame work of the surviving reefs. Most southern reefs became nothing more than vast coral graveyards. with time the degrading dead coral caused another catastrophe by breaking up in to massive quantities of coral rubble which covered most reef surfaces available for recolonisation. the unstable reef substrates prevented recovery of reef areas as well as the impact of suspension of the coral fragments with storm waves which caused severe impact damage to surviving corals in the reef areas.
Blast crater created by reef Dynamite fishing
Dead coral reef
Bleached Coral during the 1998 event.
Reef Invasive species monitoring and Management.
Human threats to coral reefs
1998 Coral bleaching event
Status of Coral reefs in Sri Lanka past/present
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OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Whales and Dolphins in Sri Lankan Waters
The seas of Sri Lanka are abundant in Marine mammals – Whales and Dolphins, and claim a rich diversity of species including 28 species of Whales Dolphins and one species of Dugong. After the ending of the war there have been a major growth in Marine Tourism activities that have lead to recognition of Sri Lankan waters as a Global Hot spot for Whale Watching activities. The un-planned development of the Whale watching tourism has caused adverse impacts on marine mammal populations and possible risks to both the Marine mammals and the tourist. Team members of ORCA / Natcog have been involved in the study of Marine Mammals in Sri Lanka for 2 decades and have been campaigning for conservation and sensible management of the species and environments and in reducing impacts from fishing.
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
Bryde’s Whale at Kalpitiya
Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin in the Kalpitiya lagoon
Rough-tooth Dolphins at Kalpitiya
Fraser’s Dolphins at Kalpitiya
Sustainable Marine Mammal Tourism initiative at Kalpitiya Post to the Ending of the 3 decade war and opening up of coastal marine areas, Marine tourism was fast becoming popular in Sri Lanka. The key areas of Marine Mammal tourism was centered around Mirissa in the Southern coast and Kalpitiya peninsula in the North West coast. As the emerging industry was showing negative impacts on marine mammals in the South coast ORCA became involved in the process from the begining at Kalpitiya as the Whale watching activities were fast developing there in order to ensure the establishment of a more sustainable and benign industry. ORCA has been actively involved and pivotal in shaping and supporting  the local community based tour boat operators in the kalpitiya region in raising awareness, providing training, developing facilities and promoting sustainable practices whale and Dolphin watching activities. ORCA carried out a survey program which monitored both the bio-diversity, behaviour and ecology of the Marine mammals in the area and also the behaviour of the tour boat operators at sea. The program provided guidance, Training and facility development support for local tour boat operators to provide better facilities and safety for the guests as well as promoting responsible and less intrusive practices in encounters with Marine Mammals. This program was carried out under a project funded by SLNF/MFF/IUCN
Marine Mammal species of Sri Lanka Family: Balaenopteridae Balaenoptera acutorostrata E: Mink Whale; S: Minki thalmasa Balaenoptera borealis  E: Sei Whale; S: Sei thalmasa Balaenoptera edeni  E: Bride's whale; S: Bridege thalmasa Balaenoptera musculus  E: Blue whale; S: Nil thalmasa Balaenoptera physalus  E: Fin Whale; S: Waral thalmasa Megaptera novaeangliae E: Hump backed Whale; S: Molli thalmasa Family: Physeteridae Physeter macrocephalus  E: Sperm Whale; S: Komada Kogia breviceps E: Pygmy Sperm Whale; S: Le mulla Kogia sima E: Dwarf Sperm Whale; S: Le mulla Family: Ziphiidae Indopacetus pacificus E: Longman Beaked Whale; Mesoplodon densirostris E: Blainville's beaked whale; Mesoplodon ginkgodensis E: Ginko-toothed Beaked Whale; Zpihius cavirostris E: Cuvier's beak Whale; Family: Delphinidae Delphinus delphis E: Common Dolphin; S: kaha mulla Feresa attenuata E: Pygmy Killer Whale; S: kalu Ongi Globicephala macrorhyncus E: Short finned Pilot Whale; S: Makara Grampus griseus E: Rissos Dolphin/ Grey Dolphin; S: Ongi Lagenodelphis hosei E: Fraser's Dolphin; S: kota waral ongi Orcinus orca E: Killer whale; S: Mara thalmasa Peponcephala electra E: Melon headed Dolphin; S: Ongi Pseudorca crassidens E: False Killer Whale; S: Kalu maha Sousa chinensis E: Indo-pacific hump-back Dolphin; S:Kabara mulla Stenella attenuata E: Spotted Dolphin; S: Pulli mulla Stenella coeruleoalba  E: Striped Dolphin; S: Wyiram mulla Stenella longirostris E: Spinner Dolphin; S: Bambara mulla Steno bredanansis E: Rough-toothed Dolphin; S: Ralu dath mulla Tursiops truncatus E: Bottle nosed Dolphin; S: bothal hota mulla   Tursiops aduncus E: Indo-pacific Bottlenosed Dolphin; S: bothal hota mulla Family: Phocoenidae Neophocaena phocaeroides  E: Finless Propoise; S: kuru  mulla Family: Dugongidae Dugong dugong E: Dugong; S: Muhudu Ura
Spermwhale at Kalpitiya
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact Whales and dolphins
OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Whales and Dolphins in Sri Lankan Waters
The seas of Sri Lanka are abundant in Marine mammals – Whales and Dolphins, and claim a rich diversity of species including 28 species of Whales Dolphins and one species of Dugong. After the ending of the war there have been a major growth in Marine Tourism activities that have lead to recognition of Sri Lankan waters as a Global Hot spot for Whale Watching activities. The un-planned development of the Whale watching tourism has caused adverse impacts on marine mammal populations and possible risks to both the Marine mammals and the tourist. Team members of ORCA / Natcog have been involved in the study of Marine Mammals in Sri Lanka for 2 decades and have been campaigning for conservation and sensible management of the species and environments and in reducing impacts from fishing.
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Bryde’s Whale at Kalpitiya
Indo-pacific Hump-backed Dolphin in the Kalpitiya lagoon
Rough-tooth Dolphins at Kalpitiya
Fraser’s Dolphins at Kalpitiya
Sustainable Marine Mammal Tourism initiative at Kalpitiya Post to the Ending of the 3 decade war and opening up of coastal marine areas, Marine tourism was fast becoming popular in Sri Lanka. The key areas of Marine Mammal tourism was centered around Mirissa in the Southern coast and Kalpitiya peninsula in the North West coast. As the emerging industry was showing negative impacts on marine mammals in the South coast ORCA became involved in the process from the begining at Kalpitiya as the Whale watching activities were fast developing there in order to ensure the establishment of a more sustainable and benign industry. ORCA has been actively involved and pivotal in shaping and supporting  the local community based tour boat operators in the kalpitiya region in raising awareness, providing training, developing facilities and promoting sustainable practices whale and Dolphin watching activities. ORCA carried out a survey program which monitored both the bio-diversity, behaviour and ecology of the Marine mammals in the area and also the behaviour of the tour boat operators at sea. The program provided guidance, Training and facility development support for local tour boat operators to provide better facilities and safety for the guests as well as promoting responsible and less intrusive practices in encounters with Marine Mammals. This program was carried out under a project funded by SLNF/MFF/IUCN
Marine Mammal species of Sri Lanka Family: Balaenopteridae Balaenoptera acutorostrata E: Mink Whale; S: Minki thalmasa Balaenoptera borealis  E: Sei Whale; S: Sei thalmasa Balaenoptera edeni  E: Bride's whale; S: Bridege thalmasa Balaenoptera musculus  E: Blue whale; S: Nil thalmasa Balaenoptera physalus  E: Fin Whale; S: Waral thalmasa Megaptera novaeangliae E: Hump backed Whale; S: Molli thalmasa Family: Physeteridae Physeter macrocephalus  E: Sperm Whale; S: Komada Kogia breviceps E: Pygmy Sperm Whale; S: Le mulla Kogia sima E: Dwarf Sperm Whale; S: Le mulla Family: Ziphiidae Indopacetus pacificus E: Longman Beaked Whale; Mesoplodon densirostris E: Blainville's beaked whale; Mesoplodon ginkgodensis E: Ginko-toothed Beaked Whale; Zpihius cavirostris E: Cuvier's beak Whale; Family: Delphinidae Delphinus delphis E: Common Dolphin; S: kaha mulla Feresa attenuata E: Pygmy Killer Whale; S: kalu Ongi Globicephala macrorhyncus E: Short finned Pilot Whale; S: Makara Grampus griseus E: Rissos Dolphin/ Grey Dolphin; S: Ongi Lagenodelphis hosei E: Fraser's Dolphin; S: kota waral ongi Orcinus orca E: Killer whale; S: Mara thalmasa Peponcephala electra E: Melon headed Dolphin; S: Ongi Pseudorca crassidens E: False Killer Whale; S: Kalu maha Sousa chinensis E: Indo-pacific hump-back Dolphin; S:Kabara mulla Stenella attenuata E: Spotted Dolphin; S: Pulli mulla Stenella coeruleoalba  E: Striped Dolphin; S: Wyiram mulla Stenella longirostris E: Spinner Dolphin; S: Bambara mulla Steno bredanansis E: Rough-toothed Dolphin; S: Ralu dath mulla Tursiops truncatus E: Bottle nosed Dolphin; S: bothal hota mulla   Tursiops aduncus E: Indo-pacific Bottlenosed Dolphin; S: bothal hota mulla Family: Phocoenidae Neophocaena phocaeroides  E: Finless Propoise; S: kuru  mulla Family: Dugongidae Dugong dugong E: Dugong; S: Muhudu Ura
Spermwhale at Kalpitiya
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Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Search for the Elusive Mermaids Survey of Dugong and its Sea Grass Habitats in the North West coast of Sri Lanka
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
Locally known as “Muhudu Ura(S)” or “Kadal pandi, Awariya(T)” The Dugong is the only herbivorous marine mammal found in Sri Lanka. the Dugong grows to 4 m.long and 1000 kg. in weight. The prefered food of the Dugong is sea grass specially that which belong to genera Halophila sp. and Halodule sp.. The North-western Sea board between Kalpitiya and Jaffna and stretching over the wide continental shelf that connects Sri Lanka and India through the Palk-bay and Gulf of Mannar is the last known habitat for the now scattered remnant Dugong herds. The Dugong is the most highly threatened large animal in Sri Lanka. It is also the least known and understood of Sri Lankan large mammals. The 30 year war had made this zone un-accessible; Few incidental records of Dugongs being caught and brought ashore or from sources within the armed forces was all that was known of these animals during this period. today in the post war era the area is increasingly coming under human pressure as all fishing restrictions that were in place has been lifted and major development activities from tourism to increased agricultural run-off to Oil drilling activities are threatening the regions bio-diversity. The threat of Indian fishing vessels illegally poaching in Sri Lankan waters operating large bottom trawl nets are believed to contribute significantly to the degradation of Sea grass habitats and the remaining populations of Dugongs in the area. The Dugong when encountered is still considered a valuable commodity as its meat is highly priced which would lead to high number of kills of the encountered animals. The Palk-bay/ Gulf of Mannar region contain the most extensive areas of Sea grass habitats in Sri Lanka. the sea grasses are important foraging grounds for the Dugong and sea turtles both herbivorous and carnivorous species and a host of other organisms including many fishery important fin fish species. the Sea grass meadows are also important nursery grounds for animals and also contribute significantly in stabilizing the substrates and preventing erosion during the rough seas during the Monsoon periods. They are also important as carbon sinks and as a major source of primary production. The Ocean Resources Conservation Association- (ORCA) is involved in a 2 year marine survey as part of the project  "Enhancing The Conservation Effectiveness of Seagrass Ecosystems Supporting Globally Significant Populations of Dugongs Across the Indian and Pacific Ocean Basins" supported by GEF/UNEP/ CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat/ Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund,  from 2015-2017. Under the project ORCA teams are engaged in a survey to track capture and exploitation patterns by local fishermen of the area. destructive fishing practices, Mapping of off shore sea-grass beds and Identification of areas important for the conservation of Dugongs. Most of the Dugong killed are caught as by catch in the Bottom set gill net fishery for Rays (madu-dal). the nets are on average 2km long and stand 10-15 feet high in the water column. this net is considered highly destructive and is reported to kill on average 50 sea turtles per day within the Battalangundu area alone,  Some instances of direct hunting was also reported using dynamite.   The large trap-nets "Ja- kotu"  found in the area close to Mannar from Vankale  and on the North side of the Island is also reported to be a fishing gear of significant concern At least 13 Dugong kills were documented within the year 2013 by the project teams. including by catch and deliberate kills using dynamite fishing. this included several mother and calf pairs as well. The significant number of kills documented indicate that there the remaining numbers may be higher than was originally estimated. the records of mothers with calves indicate that the population is still viable and breeding.  The key concern is that this the closure of this sea area for near 30 years during the war would have allowed the populations to recover significantly. now with the opening up of the seas to extensive un-regulated fishing including many destructive fishing practices including Gill nets, Bottom trawls, Blast fishing and offshore trap nets. Unless urgent management and conservation action is taken. the Dugong populations may disappear in its last stronghold in Sri Lanka within a very short time.
Sea grass vegetation During the surveys on the sea grass areas the team collected a diversity of  9 species of Sea grasses within the survey area.  The species abundance and composition at sites changed significantly based on the distance from shore and depth and on a North- South transition through the survey area.  Species diversity recorded: During the survey 9 species were found in various depths from 0.5 m to 14m Cymodocea serrulata (R.Br.) Asch. & Magnus Cymodocea rotundata Asch. &Schweinf. Syringodium isoetifolium (Asch.) Dandy Halophila ovalis (R.Br.) Hook.f. Halophila decipiens Ostenf. Halophila stipulacea (Forssk.) Asch. Halodule uninervis (Forssk.) Boiss. Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenb. ex Solms) Asch. Enhalus acoroides (L.f.) Royle
Some of the Dugong kills Documented in 2016 Battalangundu Mollikulam Thavilpadu Nadukuda
Distribution Range of Dugong in Palk-bay and Gulf of Mannar area
Cymodoce and Syringodium mixed sea grass area
Halophila sp. dominant sea grass beds
Enhalus dominated mixed sea grass beds
Luidia maculata- Seven Armed Sea Star
Protoreaster linki - red-knobbed Sea star
Pentaceraster affinis - cushion sea star
Pentaceraster alveolatus - cushion sea star
Astropecten sp. - Sand sea stars
Cymodoce and Syringodium mixed sea grass area
Dugong and seagrass
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Search for the Elusive Mermaids Survey of Dugong and its Sea Grass Habitats in the North West coast of Sri Lanka
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Locally known as “Muhudu Ura(S)” or “Kadal pandi, Awariya(T)” The Dugong is the only herbivorous marine mammal found in Sri Lanka. the Dugong grows to 4 m.long and 1000 kg. in weight. The prefered food of the Dugong is sea grass specially that which belong to genera Halophila sp. and Halodule sp.. The North-western Sea board between Kalpitiya and Jaffna and stretching over the wide continental shelf that connects Sri Lanka and India through the Palk-bay and Gulf of Mannar is the last known habitat for the now scattered remnant Dugong herds. The Dugong is the most highly threatened large animal in Sri Lanka. It is also the least known and understood of Sri Lankan large mammals. The 30 year war had made this zone un-accessible; Few incidental records of Dugongs being caught and brought ashore or from sources within the armed forces was all that was known of these animals during this period. today in the post war era the area is increasingly coming under human pressure as all fishing restrictions that were in place has been lifted and major development activities from tourism to increased agricultural run-off to Oil drilling activities are threatening the regions bio-diversity. The threat of Indian fishing vessels illegally poaching in Sri Lankan waters operating large bottom trawl nets are believed to contribute significantly to the degradation of Sea grass habitats and the remaining populations of Dugongs in the area. The Dugong when encountered is still considered a valuable commodity as its meat is highly priced which would lead to high number of kills of the encountered animals. The Palk-bay/ Gulf of Mannar region contain the most extensive areas of Sea grass habitats in Sri Lanka. the sea grasses are important foraging grounds for the Dugong and sea turtles both herbivorous and carnivorous species and a host of other organisms including many fishery important fin fish species. the Sea grass meadows are also important nursery grounds for animals and also contribute significantly in stabilizing the substrates and preventing erosion during the rough seas during the Monsoon periods. They are also important as carbon sinks and as a major source of primary production. The Ocean Resources Conservation Association- (ORCA) is involved in a 2 year marine survey as part of the project  "Enhancing The Conservation Effectiveness of Seagrass Ecosystems Supporting Globally Significant Populations of Dugongs Across the Indian and Pacific Ocean Basins" supported by GEF/UNEP/ CMS Dugong MoU Secretariat/ Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund,  from 2015-2017. Under the project ORCA teams are engaged in a survey to track capture and exploitation patterns by local fishermen of the area. destructive fishing practices, Mapping of off shore sea-grass beds and Identification of areas important for the conservation of Dugongs. Most of the Dugong killed are caught as by catch in the Bottom set gill net fishery for Rays (madu-dal). the nets are on average 2km long and stand 10-15 feet high in the water column. this net is considered highly destructive and is reported to kill on average 50 sea turtles per day within the Battalangundu area alone,  Some instances of direct hunting was also reported using dynamite.   The large trap-nets "Ja- kotu"  found in the area close to Mannar from Vankale  and on the North side of the Island is also reported to be a fishing gear of significant concern At least 13 Dugong kills were documented within the year 2013 by the project teams. including by catch and deliberate kills using dynamite fishing. this included several mother and calf pairs as well. The significant number of kills documented indicate that there the remaining numbers may be higher than was originally estimated. the records of mothers with calves indicate that the population is still viable and breeding.  The key concern is that this the closure of this sea area for near 30 years during the war would have allowed the populations to recover significantly. now with the opening up of the seas to extensive un-regulated fishing including many destructive fishing practices including Gill nets, Bottom trawls, Blast fishing and offshore trap nets. Unless urgent management and conservation action is taken. the Dugong populations may disappear in its last stronghold in Sri Lanka within a very short time.
Some of the Dugong kills Documented in 2016 Battalangundu Mollikulam Thavilpadu Nadukuda
Sea grass vegetation During the surveys on the sea grass areas the team collected a diversity of  9 species of Sea grasses within the survey area.  The species abundance and composition at sites changed significantly based on the distance from shore and depth and on a North- South transition through the survey area.  Species diversity recorded: During the survey 9 species were found in various depths from 0.5 m to 14m Cymodocea serrulata (R.Br.) Asch. & Magnus Cymodocea rotundata Asch. &Schweinf. Syringodium isoetifolium (Asch.) Dandy Halophila ovalis (R.Br.) Hook.f. Halophila decipiens Ostenf. Halophila stipulacea (Forssk.) Asch. Halodule uninervis (Forssk.) Boiss. Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenb. ex Solms) Asch. Enhalus acoroides (L.f.) Royle
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
REEF HELP GUIDE Prasanna Weerakkody Publised by NatCoG the booklet provides an overview of the status and trends on Sri Lankan reefs during the last two decades within which most reefs went from rich and diverse coral ecosystems to mere coral graveyards. The book also provides a laymans toolkit to improving reef health, and basic reef restoration.
Preliminary Survey of Kayankerni reef Prasanna Weerakkody, Sajith Subhashana, K.Lakmal Publised as a E-publication by NatCoG in partnership with Dilmah Conservation, 2012. The Report  includes the findings of the preliminary surveys carried out at the Kayankerni Coral reef in the Eastern Sri Lanka.
The Status and Biodiversity of the Buona-vista Coral reef, Rumassala, Galle Laksiri Karunarathne and Prasanna Weerakkody Publised by NatCoG in 1995 the Report was the result of a 4 year survey of the Rumassala Coral reef, It was at the time one of the most intensive documentation of a Sri Lankan Coral reef with over 500 species of reef fish species documented.
Publications- Reports, Booklets and Posters
Pigeon Islands Crown of Thorns Report Prasanna Weerakkody Report submitted to DWC in 2012 on the major infestation of Coral predatory Crown of Thorns Starfish (COT) at the Pigeon Islands Marine Park.
Dolphins, Small Whales and Dugong of Sri Lanka Poster 3 x2 ft. (need sponsor to print)
Download PDF - 2.68 MB
Download PDF - 2.2 MB
Download PDF - 2.68 MB
Download PDF - 844 KB
Review of Coral Reefs on the East Coast of Sri Lanka: Distribution, Ecology, Status and Threats August 2010 NECCDEP /GreenTech consultants
External Marine surveys with major contributions from team members of the ORCA marine survey team.
Coral Reef Fishes of Sri Lanka Poster 3 x 2 ft. Natcog/Gef/Sgp publication
The following publications by ORCA and its partners are available for free download as pdf. files - -Click on thumbnail for download-
Other publications by ORCA and Natcog
Marine tourism industry on Marine Mammals and Bar-reef at Kalpitiya.  Interim project report. 2011
A Biodiversity status profile of Sub-tidal and Intertidal habitats of the Rekawa, Ussangoda and Kalametiye area IUCN
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
Download PDF - 2.51 MB
Download PDF - 9.65 MB
* Link provided to original download site - ORCA claim no ownership of this document
* Link provided to original download site - ORCA claim no ownership of this document
Publications
Home OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
REEF HELP GUIDE Prasanna Weerakkody Publised by NatCoG the booklet provides an overview of the status and trends on Sri Lankan reefs during the last two decades within which most reefs went from rich and diverse coral ecosystems to mere coral graveyards. The book also provides a laymans toolkit to improving reef health, and basic reef restoration.
Preliminary Survey of Kayankerni reef Prasanna Weerakkody, Sajith Subhashana, K.Lakmal Publised as a E-publication by NatCoG in partnership with Dilmah Conservation, 2012. The Report  includes the findings of the preliminary surveys carried out at the Kayankerni Coral reef in the Eastern Sri Lanka.
The Status and Biodiversity of the Buona-vista Coral reef, Rumassala, Galle Laksiri Karunarathne and Prasanna Weerakkody Publised by NatCoG in 1995 the Report was the result of a 4 year survey of the Rumassala Coral reef, It was at the time one of the most intensive documentation of a Sri Lankan Coral reef with over 500 species of reef fish species documented.
Publications- Reports, Booklets and Posters
Pigeon Islands Crown of Thorns Report Prasanna Weerakkody Report submitted to DWC in 2012 on the major infestation of Coral predatory Crown of Thorns Starfish (COT) at the Pigeon Islands Marine Park.
Dolphins, Small Whales and Dugong of Sri Lanka Poster 3 x2 ft. (need sponsor to print)
Download PDF - 2.68 MB
Download PDF - 2.2 MB
Download PDF - 844 KB
Review of Coral Reefs on the East Coast of Sri Lanka: Distribution, Ecology, Status and Threats August 2010 NECCDEP /GreenTech consultants
External Marine surveys with major contributions from team members of the ORCA marine survey team.
Coral Reef Fishes of Sri Lanka Poster 3 x 2 ft. Natcog/Gef/Sgp publication
The following publications by ORCA and its partners are available for free download as pdf. files --Click on thumbnail for download-
Other publications by ORCA and Natcog
Marine tourism industry on Marine Mammals and Bar-reef at Kalpitiya.  Interim project report. 2011
A Biodiversity status profile of Sub-tidal and Intertidal habitats of the Rekawa, Ussangoda and Kalametiye area IUCN
Download PDF - 2.51 MB
Download PDF - 9.65 MB
* Link provided to original download site -ORCA claim no ownership of this document
* Link provided to original download site -ORCA claim no ownership of this document
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Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Postal Address: Ocean Resources Conservation Association 9, Balapokuna place, Colombo 6 E-mail: orcalanka@gmail.com
Home Introduction Coral reef program Whales and dolphins Dugong and seagrass Publications Contact
Main Ocean Resources Conservation Association Buona-vista, Unawatuna, Galle.
Contact us:
Contact
Home OCEAN RESOURCES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION -ORCA
Postal Address: Ocean Resources Conservation Association 9, Balapokuna place, Colombo 6 E-mail: orcalanka@gmail.com
Main Ocean Resources Conservation Association Buona-vista, Unawatuna, Galle.
Contact us:
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