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.
Alor is the last island furthest east and north in the East Nusa Tenggara province, more commonly know in Bahasa Indonesia as Nusa Tenggara Timur or NTT. NTT as a province is most famous for Komodo Island and it’s aboriginal inhabitants the...Go>
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>
Bimini lays 81km (53 miles) due east of Miami, just on the other side of the gulf stream. The close proximity to the United States made it the ideal spot for an offshore speakeasy during prohibition. One of the most popular shipwrecks...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>
El Nido has been ranked one of the best beach and island destinations in the Philippines. The stunning beauty of the island is perfectly complimented by fantastic dive sites, which vary in intensity and style. El Nido is famed for its...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>
Grand Cayman is known for it's fantastic wall diving, healthy reefs, world class shore diving, excellent macro marine life and often with cobalt calm seas! There are 270 named dive sites with warm water and generally great visibility year round. Grand Cayman is...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>
Kalpitiya is a newly emerging tourism destination in northwestern Sri Lanka. Where diving here is just as sensational as the on land beauty. With minimal developments thus far, it is a stunning coastal escape. The main attraction in Kalpitiya, are the whales...Go>
Koh Tao is considered by many as the main diving destination in the Gulf of Thailand primarily because of its shallow coral reefs teeming with marine life making it a particular favorite amongst beginner divers and snorkelers. Combined with a laid back...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>
Lissenung Island is a tiny exclusive tropical island in Papua New Guinea. Located within the Coral Triangle, the dives on the doorstep of the island exist amidst one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. The only means of visiting this island is...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>
Turquoise water, soft powdery white sand beaches, world-class casinos, duty free shopping, and succulent seafood draw hundreds of thousands to Nassau, Bahamas every year. The Bahamian capital and tourist hot spot is located on New Providence Island, 290km (156 miles) southeast of Miami,...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>
Playas del Coco is a small beach town in the northern province of Guanacaste. It is known for its great diving and large marine life, along with frequent sightings of Bull Sharks. Set on the northern Pacific coast, Playas del Coco (El...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 reefs of the Raja Ampat are specifically referred to as ‘species factories’, replenishing other reef ecosystems by sweeping coral larvae across the Indian and Pacific Oceans via their strong currents. Raja Ampat is an archipelago of 1,500 islands, cays and shoals located...Go>
Ranong is the most northerly province on Thailand's Andaman coast and best known for its mangrove forests and hot springs. It's also a gateway to Myanmar, with longboats ferrying people and produce over the narrow divide that separates Thailand and Myanmar. Ranong Province...Go>
Rhodes is a beautiful Island with a fantastic coastline more than 250 km long. Rhodes is the largest of the Greek Islands and has some of the most idyllic weather in the country. While known colloquially as the ‘Island of Roses’ due...Go>
Sal, which is Portuguese for salt, is one of the northern group of islands of the Cape Verde archipelago and is home to the area’s main airport. At 35 kilometres long by 12 kilometres wide, Sal it is geologically the oldest...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>
Small friendly island with no mass tourism less than 100 hotel rooms and only 3000 inhabitants. Sint Eustatius (“Statia”) is a tiny haven in the Caribbean for divers. Immediately off the dock of the island are 7 distinct eco systems, with walls,...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>
The Bahamas means “Shallow Seas” and this is no more evident than in the Abacos islands. Arranged along the eastern side of the little Bahamas bank, the Abacos islands cover over 263 square hectares (650 square miles) in the northern portion 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>
As the newest country in Asia, Timor Leste has an amazing natural beauty both above and below the water which is very much unspoilt. Located in the eastern end of the archipelago making up Indonesia and just north of Australia, the...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>
Once a wild colonial outpost known as Sandalwood Island, Vanua Levu is now one of Fiji’s more laid-back destinations. Travellers will find a range of accommodations from backpacker hostels to five-star resorts with world class dining and facilities. Vanua Levu offer visitors a...Go>
Weligama translates to mean “sandy village”, in reference to the town’s sand-swept bay. Located only 2.5 hours from the capital of Sri Lanka, this area is visited for its large number of nudibranches, pinnacles, blue whales, whale sharks and manta rays. The...Go>
Mention Yap to a group of divers, and visions of Mantas will dance in their heads. There are some impressively large specimens in residence in the channels and bays around Yap. But Yap is about more than just Manta Rays. There...Go>