Environment Society of Oman Hosts Arabian Sea Whale Conservation Workshop
As part of its efforts to protect and conserve endangered whales, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) hosted a workshop on Managing Data for Whale Conservation in the Arabian Sea. The workshop, organized jointly by ESO and WWF-Pakistan aimed to raise awareness on the Arabian Sea humpback whale and other baleen whales, and introduce a regional data sharing platform called “Flukebook”.
The workshop, included participants from Arabian Sea humpback whale range states, namely India, Pakistan, Iran, the UAE and Sri Lanka as well as other international partners. Presentations about research and conservation efforts from the Northwest Indian Ocean were shared, as well as exercises to enable the collection and compilation of the data under one single platform. Arabian Sea humpback whales have been designated as an endangered sub-population on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, and have become a global priority for research and conservation.
Suaad Al Harthi, ESO’s Program Director, said, “The workshop primarily intends to raise awareness on the need for conservation of the Arabian Sea humpback whale and also to introduce the new Arabian Sea Whale Network regional online data platform, Flukebook. This tool will allow whale researchers throughout the Arabian Sea region to streamline collected data into an integrated online platform to understand the connectivity between our shared resources.”
Gianna Minton, Co-coordinator at ASWN, said, “The data platform will be an extremely useful tool for the Network, and the meeting provided a great opportunity to see the network’s progress and discuss future priorities.”
Rab Nawaz, Senior Director Program, WWF-Pakistan added, “The regional database would help bridge the gap from a scientific perspective and aid in improved management of fisheries as a whole by taking informed decisions. Experts at the workshop provided scientific advice on mitigating threats to the endangered, threatened and protected populations of cetaceans in the Arabian Sea by developing a strategy to reduce entanglements in fishing operations. This has been made possible with the financial support from the Global Environment Facility, FAO and Commons Oceans for Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Tuna Project”.
The Arabian Sea Whale Network (ASWN) was established in 2015 with the aim to facilitate the regional exchange of information, research efforts and strategies.
Environment Society of Oman
ESO was founded in March 2004 by Omanis representing different regions and many different professional backgrounds. Membership is open to anyone above the age of 18 who has an interest in conserving the environment and ensuring that Oman's natural heritage remains intact for future generations to enjoy.
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