12 Nov On the Trail of Whales and Dolphins in the Banda and Seram Sea
CTC embarked on a 10-day five-man expedition in the Seram and Banda Sea this month to identify species and track cetaceans (whales, dolphins) that frequent the area. During the expedition the team identified 15 species and had numerous sightings.
The survey was done on November 5-15, 2016 and covered Ambon, Haruku, Saparua, Nusa Laut, Central South Seram , Banda Neira, West Seram, Piru Bay, Manipa Island and Manipa Strait. The survey was specifically designed to address the data-deficiency of this important species group in one of the most remote regions of eastern Indonesia with exceptional oceanic features such as clusters of seamounts, isolated oceanic islands, canyons, ecological corridors and vast, deep yet sheltered bays – all strongly influenced by the Indonesian Throughflow current.
The survey was led by CTC and APEX Environmental supported by USAID-Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced (SEA) Project. Benjamin Kahn led the expedition and the team members included Erdi Lazuardi, Ali Tamher, and Franklin Leithenu. A comprehensive Technical Report will be released by early 2017, including all the survey’s results, discussion and initial management recommendations. (Photos courtesy of Erdi Lazuardi/Ben Kahn/Ali Tamher)