DAO 103:229-264 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02566

  THEME SECTION
Criteria and case definitions for serious injury and death of pinnipeds and cetaceans caused by anthropogenic trauma

Editors: Michael J. Moore1,*, Julie van der Hoop1, Susan G. Barco2, Alex M. Costidis3,9, Frances M. Gulland4, Paul D. Jepson5, Kathleen T. Moore6, Stephen Raverty7, William A. McLellan8

1Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
2Virginia Marine Aquarium and Marine Science Program, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451, USA
3Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA
4Marine Mammal Center, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, California 94965, USA
5Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, London NW1 4RY, UK
6International Fund for Animal Welfare,Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts 02675, USA
7British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Abbotsford, British Columbia V3G 2M3, Canada
8Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403, USA
9Present address: Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403, USA

ABSTRACT: Post-mortem examination of dead and live stranded beach-cast pinnipeds and cetaceans for determination of a cause of death provides valuable information for the management, mitigation and prosecution of unintentional and sometimes malicious human impacts, such as vessel collision, fishing gear entanglement and gunshot. Delayed discovery, inaccessibility, logistics, human safety concerns, and weather make these events challenging. Over the past 3 decades, in response to public concern and federal and state or provincial regulations mandating such investigations to inform mitigation efforts, there has been an increasing effort to objectively and systematically investigate these strandings from a diagnostic and forensic perspective. This Theme Section provides basic investigative methods, and case definitions for each of the more commonly recognized case presentations of human interactions in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Wild animals are often adversely affected by factors such as parasitism, anthropogenic contaminants, biotoxins, subclinical microbial infections and competing habitat uses, such as prey depletion and elevated background and episodic noise. Understanding the potential contribution of these subclinical factors in predisposing or contributing to a particular case of trauma of human origin is hampered, especially where putrefaction is significant and resources as well as expertise are limited. These case criteria descriptions attempt to acknowledge those confounding factors to enable an appreciation of the significance of the observed human-derived trauma in that broader context where possible.


KEY WORDS:Seal · Dolphin · Whale · Marine mammal · Entrapment · Entanglement · Vessel strike · Gunshot


Full text in pdf format 
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Moore MJ, van der Hoop J, Barco SG, Costidis AM and others (2013) Criteria and case definitions for serious injury and death of pinnipeds and cetaceans caused by anthropogenic trauma. Dis Aquat Org 103:229-264. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02566

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -