A pod of more than 10 Bryde’s whales have been spotted off the Phetchburi coast in the Gulf of Thailand, forcing local fishing boats to stop fishing and turn into tour boats to ferry tourists to have close encounter of the sea mammals. The rare Bryde’s whales were seen enjoying themselves hunting for food near the coast in the Ban Laem district of Phetburi province.
The appearance of the Bryde’s whales prompted the Hat Chao Samran municipality mayor Boonyod Maklai to advise local fishermen to halt fishing and turn their boats to ferry tourists to see the whales as now most fishermen were suffering loss when few fish were caught, and that they could hardly make ends meet. HesaidnormallyBryde’swhaleswillenterthe Gulf of Thailand and come near Phetchburi coast during September to March. But this year more whales have come, he said and urged tourists to visit Phetchburi before they returned to deep sea. A Bryde’s whale is approximately 13.7 metres to 14.5 metres long and weighs about 17 tonnes. In 2012, it was estimated that only 20 remained in the Gulf of Thailand.