Killer Whales Spotted in Similans for First Time in Years

Killer whales have been spotted in the Similans for the first time since 2008, and the exciting news has divers flooding to the region in their droves.

One month ago, a pod of killer whales was sighted in the Similan Islands, Thailand, and the marine visitors have created a stir of excitement in the diving world. Oktavia Dive Center is one of the many dive companies in the area that are reporting an increase in bookings, as divers are eagerly strapping on their tanks and heading out to the Andaman Sea in the hopes of spotting the new arrivals.

Their much-welcomed arrival further cements the Similans reputation for being one of the best dive sites in the world, and according to local dive operator Oktavia Dive Center, divers are keen to catch a glimpse of them. “Killer whales are always a thrilling creature to see in the wild, and the fact that they have chosen to come to come to the Similans proves how healthy and fertile the waters are,” said Jamie Walsh, marketing manager at Oktavia Dive Center.

Interestingly, he added that one of the best times of the year to visit is actually April when the weather is at its finest and the water is at its calmest, generating unbeatable diving conditions that are perfect for spotting local marine animals.

The Similans are already home to large sea creatures such as manta rays, whale sharks and turtles, but the presence of killer whales means the area is now home to one of the world’s most awesome marine animals. An efficient predator, the killer whale is also known as an orcinus orca, grampus, blackfish or orca, and the last time these beasts were seen in the Similans was six years ago in November 2008.

News of the killer whale sightings quickly spread throughout the dive community and the result is quite staggering, as dive boats soon became fully booked over the holiday period. Jamie continued: “The possibility of spotting a killer whale in the Similans is an exciting prospect for customers, and the captain along with experienced boat staff are keeping their eyes peeled on every trip in the hope of seeing them again.”

An archipelago of islands located in the Andaman Sea, the Similans are approximately 60kms from Khao Lak and the protected national park is a safe haven for a multitude of sea creatures.

Although sometimes found in deep waters, killer whales ideally live in coastal areas and their remarkable power stems from their strength, speed and intelligence. Known as an apex predator, they lack natural predators yet human interference has sadly taken its toll on their numbers. From overfishing and pollution, to habitat loss and capture, it is hoped that the release of the highly acclaimed documentary Blackfish will help the plight of the killer whale and that more of these remarkable animals will be seen in the wild all over the world.

Release ID: 71376