[MARMAM] New paper on false killer whale fishery interactions - sex bias and variation among populations

Robin Baird rwbaird at cascadiaresearch.org
Mon Oct 20 09:52:03 PDT 2014

New paper available:

Baird, R.W., S.D. Mahaffy, A.M. Gorgone, T. Cullins, D.J. McSweeney, E.M. Oleson, A.L. Bradford, J. Barlow and D.L. Webster. 2014. False killer whales and fisheries interactions in Hawaiian waters: evidence for sex bias and variation among populations and social groups. Marine Mammal Science doi: 10.1111/mms.12177.

Abstract: We assessed scarring patterns as evidence of fisheries interactions for three populations of false killer whales in Hawai'i. Bycatch of the pelagic population in the tuna longline fishery exceeds their Potential Biological Removal level. Scarring was assessed by seven evaluators as consistent, possibly consistent, or not consistent with fisheries interactions, and average scores computed. Scores were highest for scarred main Hawaiian Island (MHI) false killer whales, followed by pelagic and Northwestern Hawaiian Island (NWHI) individuals. Considering only whales for which the majority of evaluators scored scarring as consistent revealed significant differences among populations in the percentage of individuals scarred; MHI: 7.5%, pelagic: 0%, NWHI: 0%. Assessment by social cluster for the MHI population showed that 4.2% of Cluster 1, 7.1% of Cluster 2, and 12.8% of Cluster 3 individuals had such scarring, although differences between clusters were not statistically significant. There was a significant sex bias; all sexed individuals (n = 7) with injuries consistent with fisheries interactions were female. The higher proportion of MHI individuals with fisheries-related scarring suggests that fisheries interactions are occurring at a higher rate in this population. The bias towards females suggests that fisheries-related mortality has a disproportionate impact on population dynamics.

Available from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1748-7692/earlyview or www.cascadiaresearch.org<http://www.cascadiaresearch.org>

More information on our research on false killer whales can be found at www.cascadiaresearch.org/hawaii/falsekillerwhale.htm<http://www.cascadiaresearch.org/hawaii/falsekillerwhale.htm> and on our Hawai'i odontocete research at www.cascadiaresearch.org/hawaii.htm<http://www.cascadiaresearch.org/hawaii.htm>


Robin W. Baird, Ph.D.
Research Biologist
Cascadia Research Collective
218 1/2 W. 4th Avenue
Olympia, WA 98501 USA
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Updates from our October 2014 Kaua'i field project<http://www.cascadiaresearch.org/hawaii/July2014.htm>

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