[MARMAM] New paper on porpoise by catch.

Torben Nielsen t.peiter81 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 29 01:34:32 PDT 2012

Dear colleges

We are happy to announce the publication of this new paper:

Nielsen TP, Wahlberg M, Heikkilä S, Jensen M, Sabinsky P and Dabelsteen T
(2012) Swimming patterns of wild harbour porpoises *Phocoena phocoena *show
detection and avoidance of gillnets at very long ranges. *Marine ecology
progress series* Vol. 453: 241–248

ABSTRACT: Harbour porpoises *Phocoena phocoena *are unintentionally caught
in gillnets.

Although the effectiveness of by-catch mitigation measures has been
evaluated many times, only

a few studies have investigated the behavioural patterns of the porpoises
in relation to the presence

of fishing nets. In this study, the reactions of wild harbour porpoises to
a modified gillnet

were visually observed. The porpoises responded to the net by avoiding it,
with reactions being

detectable at a distance of >80 m. The number of animals in the pods
approaching the net did not

affect the behaviour of individuals in relation to the net. These results
strongly indicate that

porpoises do not usually actively approach gillnets. The by-catch problem
seems, therefore, to be

caused by individual animals accidentally being caught, likely due to
attention shifts or to auditory

masking reducing their ability to detect the nets using echolocation.

Please do not hesitate to send any enquiries about this paper to me.

Torben P Nielsen (t.peiter81 at gmail.com)
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