Oman coast a habitat for ‘unique marine life’

MUSCAT- Field research by a team of marine scientists along the coast of Oman has resulted in an exciting discovery that has triggered international media and expert interest.

By (Our Correspondent)

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Published: Wed 20 Apr 2011, 10:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:48 AM

The study revealed that the Arabian Sea Humpback Whale is the only known population in the world not to migrate, but rather to breed and feed in the same geographic area.

“Not only are these whales distinct in this regard, but our recent research also indicates they are one of the smallest and potentially most vulnerable whale populations in the world,” Robert Baldwin, who led the team of researchers, said.

Baldwin will make a public presentation here of his latest research upon his return next month from Norway where he will speak about the findings at the 63rd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

Earlier this year, the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) and Baldwin announced that the coast of Oman was a habitat for a genetically unique and isolated population of whales, recently given the official name Arabian Sea Humpback Whale population by IWC.

The scientists have just returned from field research for the ‘Renaissance Whale and Dolphin Project’ where they recorded whale songs, behavioural patterns, DNA samples and over 10,000 photographs of the unique Arabian Sea Humpback Whale population. The expedition was visited by representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs and the Ministry of Fisheries.

Scientists observe that Oman’s marine life stands out as some of the most impressive of the country’s natural resources and careful planning and management are needed to ensure that development does not have a lasting negative impact.

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