I was lucky enough to go to the Maldives this January as part of my MSc Marine Systems and Policies at the University of Edinburgh. The Maldives is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), a group of 26 atolls located in the Indian Ocean southwest of Sri Lanka and 820km long. Most of the islands are inhabited by local people or are entirely resorts, with the economy relying heavily on tourism. We were allowed to stay on the Island of Magoodhoo, Fafuu atoll, a local island with a current population 838, within the Marine Research and Higher Education (MaRHE) centre. As part of our time in the Maldives we each had to conduct a research project of our own.
A mitigation technique for whale-vessel collisions is of interest to both commercial and conservation sectors as they often result in damage to the ship and death of the whale. The scale of which this is happening is difficult to monitor as there is no universal database on the matter and ships are often nervous to report collisions due to perceived implications. However, the IWC Vessel Strike Data Standardisation Committee has been collating both formal and informal reports of whale-vessel strikes since 2005 which indicates whale-vessel strikes are on the rise and unsurprisingly more common in areas with high maritime traffic. Continue reading “Mitigating whale-vessel collision from Space: a viable option?”