[MARMAM] New paper on bycatch of cetaceans by artisanal fishers in West Africa

Ruth Leeney ruth.leeney at gmail.com
Sat Feb 28 15:47:19 PST 2015

Hello MARMAMers,

The following paper has recently been published:

R.H. Leeney, I.M. Dia, M. Dia. 2015. *Food, Pharmacy, Friend? Bycatch,
Direct Take and Consumption of Dolphins in West Africa*. Human Ecology. DOI

*ABSTRACT**The extent to which bycatch in artisanal fisheries impacts
cetacean populations in West Africa is poorly understood. Between 2007 and
2012, 474 interviews were carried out in The Gambia, Senegal and
Guinea-Bissau to collect local fishers' knowledge on rates of bycatch,
local uses for bycaught animals and any cultural significance attached to
cetaceans. At least a quarter of respondents in each country stated that
they had accidentally caught a dolphin at least once, and greater
proportions of interviewees stated that other fishers sometimes caught
dolphins. Bycaught animals were usually distributed amongst the community
as food, but the meat and oil of dolphins were also used to treat various
ailments. There did not appear to be a sizeable market for the sale of
dolphin meat. The continued depletion of fish stocks in this region may
place more pressure on coastal communities to rely on cetaceans as a food

Please email me if you would like a pdf of the paper.

Best wishes,


Ruth H. Leeney, PhD

Benguela Research & Training
Walvis Bay, Namibia
T: (+264)-81-809-8214


*The Protect Africa's Sawfishes project*
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