Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has today inaugurated the Indian Ocean Cetacean Symposium which is being held at Paradise Island Resort and Spa.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice President Dr Waheed said the aim of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary (IOS) which was set up 30 years ago by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), was to protect large whales from commercial whaling.

Noting that the aim has largely been achieved, Dr Waheed said however, much remained to be done to safeguard populations of smaller whales and dolphins.

He also said that cetacean research has indeed flourished within the Indian Ocean in recent years. He further added that although the Maldives is not an IWC member, the Maldives wholeheartedly support the IOS, its aims and its continuation.

The symposium will be held till 20th of this month. One of the main objectives of the Symposium was to bring together regional researchers where they can share their findings and plan collaborative research activities.