ESEP 18:1-8 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00179

Anecdotal information on dolphin-fisheries interactions based on empirical knowledge of fishers in the northeastern Mediterranean Sea

Androniki Pardalou*, Athanassios C. Tsikliras

Laboratory of Ichthyology, School of Biology, University Campus, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Anecdotal information provided by local fishers is an invaluable tool in the study of marine mammal-fisheries interactions. This paper summarizes empirical and anecdotal information voluntarily provided by fishers during a survey monitoring the damage to coastal fisheries caused by dolphins. We visited 23 fishing harbours along the northern Aegean Sea coastline and monitored the fishing gear of 113 coastal fishers in order to identify the damage caused by dolphins. While we were monitoring the damage, the fishers voluntarily shared their general views on marine mammals and fisheries interactions, which were recorded and are presented here. The majority of fishers indicated that fishing gear, mesh size, depth and target species were important factors that determine depredation frequency and gear damage, whereas soaking time, time of day and season were not considered crucial. These findings provide useful insight in the study of dolphin-fishery interactions, especially for data-poor areas such as the northeastern Mediterranean Sea. The empirical knowledge of the fishers and their views is also important from an ethical perspective because, historically, dolphins in the Mediterranean had been culled and hunted for bounties for many years; even today, occasional deliberate dolphin killings are still recorded. Such information is required in the design of any management strategy that aims to minimize the conflicts with dolphins, thus preserving the fishers’ livelihood.


KEY WORDS: Dolphin-coastal fishery interactions · Dolphin damage · Fisheries management · Coastal fishery · Northern Aegean Sea


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Cite this article as: Pardalou A, Tsikliras AC (2018) Anecdotal information on dolphin-fisheries interactions based on empirical knowledge of fishers in the northeastern Mediterranean Sea. Ethics Sci Environ Polit 18:1-8. https://doi.org/10.3354/esep00179

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