[MARMAM] New paper about impact of shellfish farming on common bottlenose dolphins

Bruno Díaz López bruno at thebdri.com
Wed Mar 22 13:55:24 PDT 2017


We are delighted to bring to your attention the publication of our last scientific article published in Marine Biology. 

Díaz López, B. & Methion, S. (2017) The impact of shellfish farming on common bottlenose dolphins’ use of habitat. Marine Biology 164: 83. doi:10.1007/s00227-017-3125-x

This study provides new insights into the understanding of how shellfish aquaculture influences coastal dolphins and hence support the design of policies aimed at implementing ecosystem management principles. 

Abstract:
Shellfish farming is an expanding segment of marine aquaculture, but the impact of this industry on coastal cetacean species is only beginning to be considered. The interaction between mussel farming and coastal cetaceans in one of the world’s leading producers of this bivalve (Galicia, NW Spain) was studied. Specifically, the habitat use of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) was evaluated in relation to environmental, geographical, and anthropogenic variables. Over a period of 22 months spent in the field, 154 daily boat surveys and 353 common bottlenose dolphin encounters were done. Results of this study confirm that areas of mussel production are frequently utilized by common bottlenose dolphins. Of the investigated factors, shellfish farms appeared to have a clear effect, with increased bottlenose dolphin occurrence at mussel farm locations and in waters close to the aquaculture zones. These observations contrast with previous studies where the occurrence and distribution of coastal cetacean species decreased in association with shellfish aquaculture representing a source of habitat loss and causing potentially negative effects. These differences suggest that the interactions between shellfish aquaculture and cetaceans are affected by the culture method and cetacean species involved. The positive relationships between dolphins’ occurrence and mussel aquaculture zones are presumably the result of large aggregations of fish species around mussel rafts, which provide high densities of high-quality prey for dolphins. This study provides new insights into the understanding of how shellfish aquaculture influences coastal dolphins and hence support the design of policies aimed at implementing ecosystem management principles.

You can read the paper in the following link:

http://rdcu.be/qci0

The paper can be download via the following link:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00227-017-3125-x

Please feel free to contact me if you don't have access to the paper: bruno at thebdri.com

Kind regards,

Bruno Díaz López
Chief biologist and Director
The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Spain
www.thebdri.com
0034 684 248552

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