Timor-Leste a mecca for whales, but they face threats | Johnny Langenheim

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2018/jul/31/timor-leste-a-mecca-for-whales-but-they-face-threats

One third of all cetacean species are found in the waters off Timor-Leste, but measures are needed to protect them

Olive Andrews believes Timor Leste could be one of the best destinations in the world for whale watching. The research scientist with a particular interest in cetaceans drew this conclusion when she joined a survey team assessing the coastal waters north of Timor-Leste in October 2016. “I’ve never seen such a biomass of cetaceans in such a small geography,” she says. “We encountered 2287 cetaceans from 11 species, including superpods of up to 600 individuals.”

There are 90 distinct species of cetacean – and at least 30 of them occur in Timor-Leste. These include both local populations like melon-headed whales and spinner dolphins, and migratory species such as humpbacks and pygmy blue whales. Managed properly, whale tourism could generate significant income for Timor-Leste, one of the world’s youngest – and poorest – nations.

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Original Title: Timor-Leste a mecca for whales, but they face threats | Johnny Langenheim
Full Text of the Original Article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2018/jul/31/timor-leste-a-mecca-for-whales-but-they-face-threats