Understanding our Waters - Research & Monitoring

The Understanding our Waters initiative provides science-based knowledge needed to implement and monitor effective cetacean conservation in Bangladesh.


Key components of the initiative in the Sundarbans mangrove forest include

- Investigating the ecological characteristics of freshwater cetacean hotspots and their value as reservoirs of biological productivity,

- Monitoring the conservation status and tracking long-term habitat trends of freshwater cetaceans using the sighting network established among trained captains of the nature tourism vessels operated by The Guide Tours Ltd., and

- Monitoring cetacean mortality and ranking the threats faced by cetaceans in Bangladesh through a mortality monitoring network established among local communities in the fringe villages of the Sundarbans.


Key components in the coastal waters offshore the Sundarbans include

- Investigating cetacean mortality in gill-net fisheries by interviewing fishermen and encouraging them to report mortalities and record data from carcasses of entangled animals,

- Assessing and monitoring the population status of coastal cetaceans using line-transect techniques, and

- Investigating the abundance, movement patterns and fisheries interactions of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins using photo-identification techniques.


Key components in the Swatch-of-No-Ground include

- Investigating interactions of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins with trawl and gillnet fisheries;

- Assessing the abundance and movement patterns of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and Brydes whales, and

- Studying the population identities of cetaceans using genetic sampling techniques.