The Swatch of No-Ground is an underwater canyon located 45 kilometers south of Sundarbans in Bangladesh. This is one of the major marine fishing zones of Bangladesh and recently has been identified as a hotspot for cetacean diversity. For the last 7 years Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project (BCDP) of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), NY has conducted research in that area and recorded at least 4 species of dolphins and 2 species of whale.
Researchers from BCDP have also estimated the population of Irrawaddy dolphin in the coastal waters of Bangladesh to be around 5800. This is the largest population of this threatened coastal dolphin species in the whole world.Many travel tour organizations organizes tour to this areas of Bay-of-Bengal which has been identified by the BCDP research team as hotspots for dolphins and whales and try to search for the animals in the open sea.
HOW TO GET THERE
Going to the Swatch of No-Ground is very difficult and the trips are recommended to tourists who are seeking adventure. The tour organizers use local wooden fishing trawler for these trips. Before commencing the trips they renovate the trawler and build basic accommodation facilities on the vessel. Please note that the accommodation standard on this boat is very basic and also is shared by all the tourists in any given trip.
Finding dolphins and whales in the open sea is extremely difficult and also depends a lot on luck. It is not ensured sightings of dolphins and whales in every trip. The vessel used for the trips has GPS where all the dolphins and whales sighting data are stored and the GPS is used during the trips to increase the chances of sighting of animals.
Inhabitants of this area:
The high productivity of this area supports large groups of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus), Pantropical Spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuate), Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris), Rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) and False Killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens).
Mir Iftekharul Islam
Office of the Dean (FBE)