Wednesday, 20 Nov 2019 | 23 Rabi Al Awwal 1441
Arabian humpback whale completes return journey to Masirah Island

Arabian humpback whale completes return journey to Masirah Island

Luban’s tag has been transmitting signals for more than 17 weeks and continues to transmit as of March 19, 2018, according to the Arabian Sea Whale Network (ASWN). The network was formed in 2015 to appear into the plight of Arabian Sea Humpback whale population – the isolated and the only recognized non-migratory population of humpback whales in the planet.

Luban was initial photographed and identified in the Gulf of Masirah in October 2002. Fifteen years later, she was tagged in the exact same place in the course of a survey carried out beneath the auspices of the Environment Society of Oman and in collaboration with Five Oceans Environmental Services, nearby government entities and other partners.

“After spending a few weeks engaged in small-scale movements in the Gulf of Masirah, she suddenly headed offshore and crossed the Arabian Sea to a location just off the coast of Goa in India. She then made her way south, and spent several weeks between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari at the southernmost tip of India,” ASWN stated.

Researchers in India affiliated with ASWN mobilised all their forces and twice rushed to the places of coastline exactly where Luban’s most not too long ago transmitted signals had originated. “There they collaborated with academics, fishermen, local authorities and the Indian Coast Guard with whom they surveyed south of Cochin. “Researchers interviewed fishermen and learnt that they frequently see and hear whales in an area called Wadge bank, known to be a rich fishing ground in the deep waters between India and Sri Lanka.”

Approximately 12 weeks following becoming tagged, Luban started to make her way north along the west coast of India, till she headed offshore once again – westward across the Arabian Sea and back to her beginning point in the Gulf of Masirah. “This incredible crossing reveals an important aspect of Arabian Sea humpback whale behaviour and proves the need for collaboration between Arabian Sea range states to protect this endangered population,” ASWN added.

However, answering 1 query (Do Arabian Sea humpback whales move among Oman and other nations in their variety?), leads to a entire host of new queries. “These questions and countless others provide good incentive for ASWN to continue collaboration to learn more about these intriguing whales and how to protect them.”

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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