One of the permanent residents off the coast of Jiwani Beach Baluchistan, the Humpback Whales are a rare sight for the local fisherman and the personals of the Fisheries Department in the region. One of these giant mammals was recently spotted in the deep seas between Gunz and Pishukan by the Fisheries Department’s patrol launch in the area.
The officials later shared the details of the sighting with the WWF regional centre in the area. Humpback Whales have long been declared as Endangered Species by the IUCN and are currently on the Red List of the same. Humpbacks are permanent dwellers of the Arabian Sea and are peculiarly known for their non-migratory behavior unlike the other whle species.
“Humpback whales are easily recognizable due to their long pectoral fins, which can be up to 15 feet. The Arabian Sea humpback whale is unique among other known populations of this species in the world in that it is generally thought that this population feeds and breeds in the same area (the Arabian Sea) and does not carry out very long migration to polar waters for feeding. This means that humpback whales can be seen all the year round in the Arabian Sea,” said Shoaib Kiyani, currently working with the WWF and part of the Renaissance Whale and Dolphin Project of Environment Society of Oman.
Humpbacks are often sighted in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman where the sea depth reaches to maximum and have been counted to be in the strength of 100 animals.
“Humpback whales are a popular species due to their tendency to perform amazing acrobatic such as jumping out of water and slapping the water with pectoral fins, tails and head. The sightings and stranding of humpback whales are recorded every now and then along the coast of Pakistani,” said Mr Kiyani.
The role of WWF in the conservation of Humpback Whales and Dolphins in general and Green Turtles in particular has led to the increase in the number of these endangered animals to considerable extent.
Jiwani Beach is one of the important marine turtle nesting sites in Pakistan. The Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is the main species found nesting there; while nests of Olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea) are rarely observed.
So far, 2,017 nests were protected during 1999 - 2007 and 66,031 hatchlings emerging from these nests have been released into the sea.