WCS 3-Sentence Science
Fishing for the Facts in River Dolphin Bycatch
September 6, 209
Each year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.
Here we present work by WCS’s Cambodia Program on the impact of fisheries bycatch on river dolphin mortality.
- Fisheries bycatch is a primary driver of cetacean declines, especially for threatened freshwater cetaceans, yet information on the factors influencing cetacean susceptibility to bycatch in small-scale fisheries is limited, impeding development of evidence-based conservation strategies.
- Researchers conducted 663 interviews with fishers from southern Bangladesh to investigate the influence of net and set characteristics on seasonal bycatch rates of Ganges River dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica), and found that 170 bycatch events (and a minimum of 14 mortalities) were reported, 89 percent of which occurred in gillnets.
- The mortality estimate indicates that fisheries-related bycatch currently exceeds the sustainable limit recommended by the International Whaling Commission by 3.5 times, and that if current fishery regulations were effectively enforced, they may also reduce river dolphin bycatch.
Study and Journal: “Fishing for the facts: River dolphin bycatch in a small-scale freshwater fishery in Bangladesh” from Animal Conservation
WCS Co-Author(s): Sarah Brook , Technical Advisor — Biodiversity Conseration and Counter Wildlife Trafficking Cambodia; Simon Mahood, Technical Adviser, WCS Cambodia
For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, email@example.com.