Climate change and global warming are impacting all living organisms in the world. A latest research by the University of Washington proves that endangered blue whales that are present in Indian waters, especially in areas of Lakshadweep and Kerala, are singing off the southwest coast of India. According to the study published in Marine Mammal Science, it is advised that the conservation measures should be taken adequately as the tourism in these regions is quite high.
This research is based on the analysis that has been done from recordings that were done between late 2018 and early 2020 in Lakshadweep and Kerala. The recordings also showed that the peak activity of whales happens in the months of April and May. The research has been published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.
The lead author of the study, Divya Panicker is a UW doctoral student in oceanography. In her research, she has confirmed the presence of blue whales in the Indian waters. This has been backed by live sightings of the giant mammal. She has also raised pertinent questions including- Where are blue whales found, what do they eat, what songs do they sing, how long do they spend in Indian waters and in what seasons?
One of the major things that this study does is conclude that blue whales persistently occur in Lakshadweep. As per Panicker, addressing the questions raised in the research are important and need to be answered for ‘science-based management and conservation plans.’
In order to conduct this study, scuba divers installed underwater microphones at two ends of Kavaratti Island. Previous studies had already mentioned that there is presence of blue whales in this region but it is seasonal. The recordings too confirmed that as the presence was noticed between winter and summer monsoons. As per Panicker, the study is the first proof of ‘northern Indian Ocean blue whale songs in Indian waters’.