Workshop Report Released: Determining and quantifying threats to coastal cetaceans


Determining and quantifying threats to coastal cetaceans: A regional collaborative workshop: 21-24 February 2011, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Edited by G. Minton and B.D. Smith.

In February 2011, 27 cetacean researchers from the South Asian region came together at the Permai Rainforest Resort in Kuching, Sarawak to discuss means to better incorporate threat assessment into conservation-based research on coastal cetaceans. The core participants were from Peninsular and East Malaysia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, with international representation from the USA, Australia and Britain. The opening ceremony included presentations and participation by local stakeholders, academics, and NGOs. The emphasis was on small cetaceans with near- and inshore distributions that do not extend beyond the continental shelf: the Irrawaddy dolphin Orcaella brevirostris, finless porpoise Neophocaena phocaenoides, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin Sousa chinensis, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus. Participants also recognized that nearshore waters in Southeast Asia provide vital habitat for populations of some pelagic species (e.g., spinner dolphins Stenella longirostris and dwarf spinner dolphins, S. longirostris roseiventris) and support at least two large baleen whales: small-form of Bryde’s whales Balaenoptera edeni and Omurai’s whales B. omurai.

The report begins with a powerful foreword by Randy Reeves, IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group Chair, and includes abstracts from the core presentations of the workshop, summaries of panel discussions and working group sessions, and detailed appendices including summaries of active research projects led by the workshop participants throughout the region.  It includes identification of key knowledge gaps in the region, and practical recommendations for future research and follow-up networking between participants and a wider forum of colleagues dealing with similar challenges.

To view or download the workshop report click here.