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Environment Authority installs tracking chip on Humpback Whale

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Duqm: The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has listed the Arabian Sea humpback whale among the most five groups at risk of extinction. This means that “saving a single whale has a significant impact on the genetic diversity and population recovery of this species.”

In January 2021, the Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Environment Authority and the Port of Duqm, succeeded in liberating and saving the humpback whale, which was more than 15 meters long, from fishing nets in Duqm.Eng. Aida Khalaf Al Jabri, marine environment specialist at the Environment Authority, confirmed that the Authority pays a great attention to marine life and mammals with the aim of preserving them from extinction, including the Arabian Sea humpback whale.

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She said in a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA) that in December 2023, the Environment Authority began developing the Arabian Sea humpback whale project. It succeeded in installing a satellite tracking chip and a sound recording device for eight hours on the back of the Arabian Sea humpback whale using a drone. The device was able to recording an audio clip of this type of whales. She explained that the project helps with satellite telemetry and mapping of the distribution of threats and risks.

She added that there is cooperation between the Environment Authority and the Port of Duqm to protect and preserve this type of whale and other marine mammals.

The Arabian Sea humpback whale can be distinguished from other whales by the shape, color and pattern of a mole on the tail. It is considered one of the rarest as only 100 whales were spotted.

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