It is reported that over 100 short fin pilot whales have beached in Panadura today (11). Pearl Protectors, a marine environmental group has put out an announcement requesting for volunteers to move them back to the sea.
The wildlife authorities, Navy and Coast guard are assisting with rescue.
Dr Terney Pradeep Kumara, General Manager of the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said the whales may be very seriously injured. He said they are showing signs of the effects of a deep dive probably forced by encountering ships using sonar.
“These whales navigate using sonar and when they encounter shipping which is also using sonar tend to dive deep to escape,” he said. If they dive as deep as a kilometer they become saturated with nitrogen – a condition that deep divers sometimes get called “bends” he explained.