July 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Fisheries Rajitha Senaratne says that the international shipping route off Sri Lanka's southern coast will not be shifted.
He said that a move to shift the shipping lanes farther out to sea would affect the commercial value of Sri Lanka's newly built Hambantota harbor.
Environmentalists and other concerned sections raised the threat to the lives of the whales due to ships that ply on the international shipping route that is 12 nautical kilometers away from Hambantota.
The sea off Sri Lanka's southern coast is a habitat of a large population of whales including some rare blue whales and the whales are known to swim among the shipping lanes.
A number of discussions were held on moving the route from its current location, due to the death of whales that collide with ships.
In April this year grisly images of a blue whale with a nearly severed dorsal fin appeared in media. In March, a blue whale was found draped over the bow of a container vessel that arrived in the Colombo harbor.