Friday, March 18, 2016

IORA whale and dolphin watching workshop

I was invited to the beautiful Sri Lanka last February to attend IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) whale and dolphin watching workshop. This post is basically my report to the IORA Indonesia Secretariat, slightly modified for this post. Special thanks to Lars Bejder of Murdoch Uni who has recommended my participation, IORA Indonesia who has elected me as an Indonesian rep, the Australian Govt (the Department of Environment) for funding the whole event, International Whaling Commission as the amazing co-facilitator, and the Sri Lanka Institute of Policy Studies for being a great host. I will visit Sri Lanka again one day... seven days is not enough...

On 24-26 February 2016, a regional IORA workshop on sustainable whale and dolphin watching was conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Titled “Building sustainable whale and dolphin watching tourism in the Indian Ocean region”, the workshop was based on IORA’s goal, i.e., “to promote the sustained growth and balanced development of the region and of the Member States” and at least one of IORA’s six priority areas (i.e., tourism and cultural exchanges)(IORA 2015a). As of 2015, IORA has also put emphasize on the Blue Economy concept. 

Indonesia's National Plan of Action for the Cetaceans

Just a short post to inform you all that Indonesia (the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries) has released its National Plan of Action for the Conservation of Cetaceans. The document is still in Indonesian language. I have the English version of the earlier draft (because I was one of the authors), but we will need time (and funding, I suppose) to translate it into English. Based on the 2002-2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World's Cetaceans (Reeves et al 2003), the document contains strategies to address unsustainable anthropogenic activities (bycatch, blast fishing, direct catch, tourism in the wild, captivity, marine debris, vessel strikes, and competition with fisheries) and disturbance to cetacean habitats (coastal and riverine development, commercial and military sonar, chemical pollution, biotoxin and climate change). The national marine mammal stranding network is also mentioned as one of the action plans. Click here for the document in Indonesian language. (terjemahan bahasa Indonesia di bawah break)