[MARMAM] New paper on culling and hunting of marine mammals

Morten Tange Olsen morten.olsen at snm.ku.dk
Sun Jul 8 13:25:09 PDT 2018


Dear MarMam'ers

We are pleased to announce the recent publication in MEPS of our paper entitled "The history and effects of seal-fishery conflicts in Denmark" on the background and effects of historic hunting and culling on seal populations

Abstract
Growing marine mammal populations have led to renewed conflicts with fisheries and discussions of culling as a management measure. In order to evaluate the effects of such measures, lessons from previous culling efforts and historic data on marine mammal abundance and distribution in response to different hunting and management regimes are pertinent. Here, we combined multiple data sources, including bounty data from the Danish seal culling programme of 1889 to 1927, zooarchaeological records, historical written accounts, 20th century hunting statistics on seals and recent population survey data, in order to assess the prehistoric and historic occurrence of seals in Denmark, and to evaluate the effects of hunting and culling on seal populations, as well as its efficacy as a mitigation measure in seal-fisheries conflicts. We found that past conflicts were driven primarily by developments of passive fishing gear technology in the late 19th century, and that—contrary to several modern interpretations—the primary motivation for culling was damage to catch and gear, not resource competition. Furthermore, we demonstrate that it took decades of heavy-handed culling to minimize the historic seal-fisheries conflicts. Moreover, the culling programme should be regarded in a broader context, where preceding hunting had already decimated grey seal stocks, and subsequent hunting led to an all-time low of a few thousand harbour seals in the early 1970s. We recommend that 21st century seal-fisheries conflicts, debates and associated management decisions should be seen in a historical context, and that there should be an aim

Citation
Olsen MT, Galatius A, Härkönen T (2018) The history of human exploitation and seal-fishery conflicts in Denmark. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 595: 233–243, doi: 10.3354/meps12510

https://www.int-res.com/abstracts/meps/v595/p233-243/

Best
Morten

Morten Tange Olsen
Assistant Professor
Curator of Marine Mammals

Natural History Museum of Denmark
Section for Evolutionary Genomics
University of Copenhagen
Øster Voldgade 5-7
1350 Copenhagen K
Denmark

morten.olsen at snm.ku.dk
(+45)42661525
http://snm.ku.dk/

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