[MARMAM] New article: Bycatch impact on Ecuadorian humpback whale breeding stock

Juan Alava jj_alava at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 3 08:02:32 PST 2011

Dear colleagues,
I hope everybody had a safe trip back home. Please, find below a new contribution on bycatch impact on humpback whales...

Ocean & Coastal Management
 In Press, Accepted Manuscript - 

Assessing the impact of bycatch on Ecuadorian humpback whale breeding stock: A review with management recommendations
Juan José Alavaa, b, , , Maria José Barragánc, e, Judith Denkingerd, e
     a School of Resource & Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada b Fundación Ecuatoriana para el Estudio de Mamíferos Marinos (FEMM).Guayaquil, Ecuador c Department of Geography. Memorial University of Newfoundland, 232 Elizabeth Avenue. St. John´s, NL, A1B 3X9. Canada d Galápagos Institute for the Arts and Science (GAIAS), University San Francisco de Quito, Circulo de Cumbaya, Quito, Ecuador e Nazca, Institute of Marine Research, Cabo San Francisco, Cantón Muisne, Ecuador Received 8 March 2011; revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 5 November 2011. Available online 22 November 2011.
The Southeastern Pacific Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae reproduces from June to September off the coast of Ecuador where a large artisanal fisheries fleet consisting of more than 15,000 vessels operates year round. The bycatch impact on this humpback population has been overlooked. Based on the annual bycatch mortality documented in this study, about 0.53% (95% CI 0.2-1.5%) of the population might be potentially bycaught in gillnets annually. Depending on the total population numbers estimated and reported elsewhere for this stock (2917 or 6277 whales), the bycatch mortality is equivalent to 15 or 33 whales per year. A significant correlation was found between the annual bycatch rate and fishing effort for the period 2000-2009 (r = 0.68, p < 0.05). An increase in artisanal fisheries may cause drastic consequences since humpback whales as K-strategists have low birth and survival rates. Calves are probably the most threatened age class due to
 gillnet entanglements in proximity to coastal waters where artisanal vessels operate. The Ecuadorian breeding grounds for humpback whales migrating from Antarctica might become a hot spot for bycatch in the Southeastern Tropical Pacific, if the bycatch rate continues to increase. Urgent mitigation strategies coupled with precautionary management and conservation measures are required to protect this vulnerable stock of whales in the long term. The consequences of humpback whale bycatch off coastal Ecuador and possible solutions to mitigate the bycatch are analyzed.
► Bycatch affects 15-33 humpback whales per year in coastal marine waters off Ecuador. ► An increase in fishery effort increases the bycatch rate of humpback whales. ► Best fishery practices and breeding area protection mitigate humpbacks’ bycatch. ► Precautionary actions can play an important role in conserving threatened cetaceans.    Keywords:  Megaptera novaeangliae; Humpback whale population; Bycatch; Entanglements; Ecuador
If you would like an electronic pdf copy, please feel free to contact me (jalavasa at sfu.ca)
The articles is also available at:
Juan Jose Alava
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Author Services <support at elsevier.com>
To: jalavasa at sfu.ca; jj_alava at yahoo.com 
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 11:02 AM
Subject: Article tracking [OCMA_2908] - Accepted manuscript available online (unedited version)
Article title: Assessing the impact of bycatch on Ecuadorian humpback whale breeding stock: a Review with Management Recommendations
Reference:: OCMA2908
Journal title: Ocean and Coastal Management
Corresponding author: Dr. Juan Jose Alava
First author: Dr. Juan Jose Alava
Received at Editorial Office: 8-MAR-2011
Article revised: 6-OCT-2011
Article accepted for publication: 5-NOV-2011
Accepted manuscript (unedited version) available online: 22-NOV-2011
DOI information: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2011.11.003

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