Changes in the catch composition of artisanal fisheries attributable to dolphin depredation in a Mediterranean marine reserve

Type Article
Date 2009-05
Language English
Author(s) Rocklin Delphine1, 2, Santoni Marie-Catherine3, Culioli Jean-Michel3, Tomasini Jean-Antoine1, Pelletier DominiqueORCID2, Mouillot David1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Montpellier 2, CNRS, UMR, IFREMER UM2 5119, Montpellier 5, France.
2 : IFREMER, Dept Sci & Technol Halieut, Technopole Brest Iroise, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
3 : Off Environm Corse, Serv Parc Marin Int, F-20169 Bonifacio, France.
Source ICES Journal of Marine Science (1054-3139) (Oxford university press), 2009-05 , Vol. 66 , N. 4 , P. 699-707
DOI 10.1093/icesjms/fsp036
WOS© Times Cited 25
Keyword(s) Marine protected area, Interactions with fisheries, Depredation, Catch per unit effort, Catch composition, Bottlenose dolphin, Artisanal fisheries
Abstract There is increasing evidence from previous studies, and from fishers' observations, that coastal dolphins use fishing nets as an easily accessible feeding source, damaging or depredating fish caught in the nets. This study investigates the impact of dolphin depredation on artisanal trammelnets by analysing the catch composition of 614 artisanal fishing operations in the Bonifacio Strait Natural Reserve (France). Common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) attacked, on average, 12.4% of the nets and damaged 8.3% of the catch. However, attacked nets were characterized by statistically significantly higher catch per unit effort than unattacked ones. Catch composition also differed significantly after dolphin attacks; bentho-pelagic fish were more represented and reef-associated fish less represented. Our results suggest that (i) dolphins are attracted by high fish densities in the fishing area and/or nets, and (ii) their attacks induce specific fish-avoidance behaviour, according to the fish position in the water column. Although dolphins depredate a small part of the catch, damage to nets, not yet assessed in this area, could weaken the benefits that reserves can provide to artisanal fisheries.
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Rocklin Delphine, Santoni Marie-Catherine, Culioli Jean-Michel, Tomasini Jean-Antoine, Pelletier Dominique, Mouillot David (2009). Changes in the catch composition of artisanal fisheries attributable to dolphin depredation in a Mediterranean marine reserve. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 66(4), 699-707. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :