Progress report from the Arabian Sea Whale Network
G. Minton, M. Antonopoulou, R. Baldwin, S. Cerchio, T. Collins, S. al Harthi, M. Moazzam, N. Mohsenian, H. Moshiri, A. Natoli, S. Abdul Razzaque, M. Rezaie-Atagholipour, D. Sutaria, A. de Vos, M. Sarrouf Willson, A. Willsonl
International Whaling Commission
Over the past year the Arabian Sea Whale Network (ASWN) has maintained communication between members and with external organisations through a website and an email group. Many ASWN members helped to identify Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) by writing proposals and participating in the IMMA workshop held in Oman in March 2019. IMMAs for the Southwest Indian Ocean and Arabian Seas were published in December 2019 and now available for use in conservation management strategies. The Network has launched a regional online data platform, that facilitates standardized data archiving in the region, and matching of photo-identification catalogues between research projects in the Arabian Sea. Members in Oman have started to use this platform to conduct data comparisons and analyses. The report also highlights national/project level work conducted by members in Oman, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Iran and the UAE, and provides an overview of progress against the actions set forth in the CMS Concerted Action for Arabian Sea humpback whales. This Concerted Action was extended for another three years, and contains many of the elements that would be incorporated into a Conservation Management Plan.