ESO hosts Arabian Sea whale conservation workshop

MUSCAT: 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, organised 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 Programme 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 Programme, 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.