The IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task force has recently updated and upgraded several features on the IMMA e-Atlas. The e-Atlas includes a number of sites in the Arabian Sea, but now also includes a host of new Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs), candidate IMMAS (cIMMAs), and Areas of Interest (AOIs) in the Extended Southern Ocean and the waters around Australia and New Zealand. Further more, the map-based interface is now complemented by a user-friendly menu that facilitates filtering by IMMA category or region, as well as targeted searches for specific Areas. https://www.marinemammalhabitat.org/imma-eatlas/
A searchable database also allows more targeted searching by country (EEZ) or species: https://www.marinemammalhabitat.org/immas/immas-searchable-database/.
The MMPATF site also features a new report that is the result of collaboration between WWF, the IUCN MMPATF, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and Oceanmind. The report features an analysis of vessel traffic in 114 IMMAs around the world, including IMMAs identified primarily on the basis of their importance for Arabian Sea humpback whales and other whale species. For every IMMA, a table has been generated with statistics of unique vessels transiting the IMMA each month, as well as heat maps and graphs depicting categories of vessel traffic by month. The report also features a ranking of the sites where the overlap between vessel traffic and whale populations indicates possible risk of ship strikes, and two case studies examining the patterns of vessel traffic in relation to cetaceans in greater detail. The report highlights two IMMAs in the Arabian Sea as potential hotspots for interactions between ships and whales.
The report can be accessed and downloaded in different formats on this page of the IUCN MMPATF website: https://www.marinemammalhabitat.org/mmpatf/activities/geospatial-analysis-of-threats/