Monday, February 20, 2006

A whale and dolphin research project has begun

A team from the Environment Society of Oman’s (ESO) Whale and Dolphin Research project has begun a month-long field survey of the Gulf of Masirah and surrounding waters. One of the team’s objectives is to collect more data on humpback whales to further the understanding of their habits and behaviour.

Data from illegal whaling expeditions in the mid-1960s revealed that humpback whales both feed and breed in the Arabian Sea. Humpback whales throughout the world undertake long seasonal migrations between polar feeding areas and tropical breeding areas.

The humpback whales found in Oman are genuinely ‘Arabic’ and recent work has shown that there may even be genetic and behavioural differences between these whales and other populations.

The ESO research will seek to determine conservation efforts needed to maintain this population for the future and to preserve it as another unique aspect of the Sultanate of Oman’s natural heritage, thus encouraging tourism, an ESO spokesman said.

ESO is a non-profit team of Omani and expatriate volunteer scientists who actively research and promote awareness of whales and dolphins found within Oman’s waters.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"