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Views and collaborators sought for Indian Ocean Monitoring Initiative

A new, long term and ocean-wide survey is proposed for the Indian Ocean and the IWC is circulating a questionnaire, seeking expert views and collaborators in the region.

Over 50 cetacean species have been recorded in the Indian Ocean and an Indian Ocean sanctuary was established by the IWC in 1979. The region is impacted significantly by human activities. Cetaceans face a number of threats including incidental bycatch in fishing gear, collisions with ships, pollution and climate change.

A number of research and conservation initiatives already exist in the region and this new initiative aims to engage with these and establish what role the IWC can most usefully play in building an ocean-wide understanding of the size, distribution and status of cetacean populations and the threats they face.

The questionnaire issued today aims to engage with more researchers working in the Indian Ocean, review the objectives of the monitoring initiative and identify champions who will lead and promote the initiative's goals. The results of the questionnaire will be presented at the next meeting of the Scientific Committee in April, to inform discussions and help guide plans for the initiative.

If you have relevant expertise or knowledge, please contribute to the questionnaire using this link. Please also share with relevant colleagues or networks. The questionnaire will close on 15 February 2024.

Read about the background to the Indian Ocean Monitoring Initiative.