After months of planning, the Arabian Sea Whale Network (ASWN) has finalized an infographic designed to raise awareness of the unique nature of Arabian Sea humpback whales and the urgent conservation challenges they face. The infographic is intended for dissemination to a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies responsible for conservation management, fisheries managers, port authorities and other industries that impact the marine environment. Some ASWN members are also distributing electronic and printed versions to schools and coastal communities, and are translating the infographic into Arabic, Farsi, and Hindi in order to reach a wider target audience. It is hoped that this awareness-raising tool will encourage stakeholders to engage and invest in the conservation efforts required to conserve this population and enable its recovery.
ASWN is also working on the development of a regional online data platform that will allow members to archive cetacean sightings and strandings data in a common format to facilitate Arabian Sea-wide comparisons and analyses. ASWN is working with the developers of Flukebook, an open-source cetacean photo-identification and data archiving platform. As well as archiving data from directed cetacean research, the new regional data platform will facilitate the collection of third-party and opportunistic whale sightings data, such as the wave of reports made by fishermen from Pakistan late in 2016. In countries where dedicated cetacean surveys have not yet been organized due to lack of funding or security concerns, these third-party reports can provide extremely valuable insight into whale distribution and threats.
For more information, please contact Gianna Minton (firstname.lastname@example.org), Tim Collins (email@example.com) or Marina Antonopoulou (firstname.lastname@example.org) Click here to download a high resolution PDF (75 MB) of the infographic.