Though these animals might encounter humans infrequently or even more regularly, unhabituated whales and still show disturbance reactions in response to divers. Habituated animals normally show no signs of disturbance. Both, habituated and unhabituated pilot whales, have not been reported to put divers at health risk so far.
On Dive Report we list whale and dolphin species in our animal calendar, but please be aware that with Pilot Whales this does not necessarily mean that you can easily dive with them in the locations listed. We have included them as there is a chance of them being spotted from the boat in transit or between dives, which is still exciting adding to the overall dive trip experience.
Pilot whales are cetaceans belonging to the genus Globicephala. There are two different species, the long-finned pilot whale and the short-finned pilot whale. Pilot Whales are the largest dolphin specie, second only to orcas in size. The size and weight depend on the species as long-finned pilot whales are generally larger than short-finned pilot whales. Adult long-finned pilot whales reach a body length of approximately 6.5 metres, with males being 1 metre longer than females. Adult females reach up to 1,300 kg while adult males reach up to 2,300 kg. For short-finned pilot whales, adult females reach a body length of approximately 5.5 m, while males reach 7.2 m and may weigh up to 3,200 kg.
Pilot whales feed on squid, small fish and other cephalopods. Adults may consume up to 14 kg of food per day.
In general, pilot whales are found in the northern and southern hemispheres in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. Short-finned pilot whales tend to live in warmer waters, while long-finned pilot whales are more commonly found in more temperate waters. Therefore the two sub-species tend to remain mostly segregated.
Pilot whales population numbers is unknown. However, The IUCN lists both species as "Data Deficient" in the Red List of Threatened Species. Pilot whales have been hunted for their meat, bone, oil, and for fertilizer, a practice which continues in some areas. Because they easily adapt to captivity, pilot whales are also exhibited in many aquariums and zoos.
More detailed information about Pilot Whales can be found here.
Set in a tropical scattering of islands, surrounded by the third largest coral reef and some of the clearest water in the world. Andros has a wide range of exciting and beautiful marine life making this an exciting scuba diving location. The...Go>
A quiet group of islands with excellent less known reefs, the Berry Islands are great for those who want a quiet holiday but still have access to excellent reefs and large pelagic species. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a...Go>
Dives to wrecks, reefs and what is thought to be the remains of the Fountain of Youth and the Lost city of Atlantis, Bimini is an excellent, easily reached diving destination. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700...Go>
A gem among Caribbean islands; peaceful, quiet and unspoilt. Carriacou is volcanic in origin, with the island featuring rolling green hills, spectacular views of the surrounding sea and reefs and seemingly endless white sandy beaches. People are friendly and you can be...Go>
Home to the highest peak in the Bahamas, a huge 207 feet, Cat Island is a wonderful place to explore above and below the surface of the ocean. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands...Go>
The pineapple capital of the Bahamas, Eleuthera has excellent diving on reefs and wrecks with the most natural wrecks of any other island. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands at the top of the...Go>
A trip of a lifetime! The Galapagos is one of the last places in the world where you have the chance of diving with huge schools of Hammerhead Sharks. The Galapagos Islands consist of 13 main islands and 6 smaller isles approx...Go>
Close up dolphin and shark encounters can be had in the waters around Grand Bahama, including dives at the famous Tiger Beach where you can get up close and personal with the amazing Tiger Shark! The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists...Go>
Home to a stunning protected coral reef that plunges to 8000 ft, Grand Turk has some great dive sites minutes from the shore. Grand Turk is part of the group of islands that makes up the Turks and Caicos Islands. With 8...Go>
Gateway to the magnificent Sea of Cortez, with access to a diverse selection of enjoyable and exciting dive sites, La Paz is a brilliant base to experience some of the best marine life encounters in the area has to offer. La Paz,...Go>
The most scenic island in the Bahamas, Long Island has amazing diving including the deepest Blue Hole in all the Bahamas. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands at the top of the Caribbean above Cuba...Go>
The largest of the islands, Middle Caicos is an island of natural beauty, a more dramatic coastline than other islands and can reach some excellent dive sites. Middle Caicos is part of the group of islands that makes up the Turks and...Go>
Everything you could want from a holiday Nassau provides. Sharks, wrecks as well as many on land activities, beaches and a fun nightlife. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands at the top of the...Go>
Boasting the largest flock of pink flamingos in the islands and access to brilliant dive sites, North Caicos is a nature lovers getaway. North Caicos is part of the group of islands that makes up the Turks and Caicos Islands. With 8...Go>
A small beach town in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica, Playas del Coco is known for great exciting diving with large marine life, especially Bull Sharks. Set on the Pacific coast it is one of the oldest beach communities in Guanacaste....Go>
A location that is still relatively unknown, The Turks and Caicos Islands have some excellent unspoilt dive sites, crystal clear water and abundant reef life making this a premier diving area. The best known of the Islands, Providenciales is one of the...Go>
The best kept secret of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Salt Cay is the ultimate getaway, total adventure and relaxation at its finest. No crowds, no cruise ships and no casinos and a diver’s paradise. Salt Cay is part of the group...Go>
World class wall diving, frequent visits by hammerheads and striking topography, San Salvador is a must for divers visiting the Bahamas. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands at the top of the Caribbean above Cuba...Go>
The fishing capital of the islands, South Caicos attracts those interested in birdlife, fishing, diving, fresh seafood and history South Caicos is part of the group of islands that makes up the Turks and Caicos Islands. Located at the southern tip of the...Go>
White Sand beaches lined with swaying Palm trees and beautiful blue water full of life, Fiji really is a tropical paradise. Known to many divers as “The Soft Coral Capital of the World” you can witness wondrous colourful displays when the coral...Go>
The largest of the Canary Islands has a dramatic landscape above and below water with its volcanic origins creating an underwater world full of spectacular rock formations and a rich diverse marine life. Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands off...Go>
A group of islands and small tranquil cays, The Abacos Islands are a perfect place to base a dive holiday, with beautiful intact staghorn and elkhorn coral structures and plentiful marine life. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of...Go>
Great Diving, easy reefs, blue holes and a peaceful scenic setting, the Exumas are a great location in the Bahamas to visit. The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and consists of a group of 700 breathtaking islands at the top of the Caribbean above...Go>
Tutukaka is the gateway to the amazing Poor Knights Islands rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world! Tutukaka is on the beautiful Northland coast of New Zealand. Its marina is the perfect departure...Go>