An interview-based approach to assess marine mammal and sea turtle captures in artisanal fisheries

Published

Journal Article

Recent case studies have highlighted high bycatch mortality of sea turtles and marine mammals in artisanal fisheries, but in most countries there are few data on artisanal fishing effort, catch, or bycatch. With artisanal fisheries comprising >95% of the world's fishermen, this knowledge gap presents a major challenge to threatened species conservation and sustainable fisheries initiatives. We report on results from an intensive pilot study to evaluate whether interview surveys can be effective in assessing fishing effort and threatened species bycatch. Fisheries and bycatch data from interviews with >6100 fishermen in seven developing countries were collected in <1 year for approximately USD $47,000, indicating that this approach may rapidly yield coarse-level information over large areas at low cost. This effort provided the first fisheries characterizations for many areas and revealed the widespread nature of high bycatch in artisanal fisheries. Challenges to study design and implementation prevented quantitative estimation or spatial comparisons of bycatch during this pilot research phase, but results suggested that annual sea turtle bycatch may number at least in the low thousands of individuals per country. Annual odontocete bycatch may number at least in the low hundreds per country. Sirenian bycatch occurred in all study areas but was frequent only in West Africa. We discuss lessons learned from this survey effort and present a revised protocol for future interview-based bycatch assessments. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moore, JE; Cox, TM; Lewison, RL; Read, AJ; Bjorkland, R; McDonald, SL; Crowder, LB; Aruna, E; Ayissi, I; Espeut, P; Joynson-Hicks, C; Pilcher, N; Poonian, CNS; Solarin, B; Kiszka, J

Published Date

  • March 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 143 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 795 - 805

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3207

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.12.023

Citation Source

  • Scopus