[MARMAM] new publication: ship strikes along French coasts

Hélène Peltier helene.peltier at univ-lr.fr
Wed Aug 14 07:17:11 PDT 2019

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to inform you that a new brief research paper on ship 
strikes of large whales along the French coasts was recently published 
in Frontiers in Marine Science:

*Monitoring of Marine Mammal Strandings Along French Coasts Reveals the 
Importance of Ship Strikes on Large Cetaceans: A Challenge for the 
European Marine Strategy Framework Directive*
Hélène Peltier <https://www.frontiersin.org/people/u/684060>, Alain 
Beaufils, Catherine Cesarini, Willy Dabin, Cécile Dars, Fabien Demaret, 
Frank Dhermain, Ghislain Doremus, Hélène Labach, Olivier Van Canneyt and 
Jérôme Spitz <https://www.frontiersin.org/people/u/472021>

^Full text available:


The incidence of marine traffic has risen in recent decades and is 
expected to continue rising as maritime traffic, vessel speed, and 
engine power all continue to increase. Although long considered 
anecdotal, ship strikes are now recognized as a major threat to 
cetaceans. However, estimation of ship strike rates is still challenging 
notably because such events occurred generally far offshore and 
collision between large ships and whales go often unnoticed by ship 
crew. The monitoring of marine mammal strandings remain one the most 
efficient ways to evaluate the problem. In France, a national 
coordinated network collected data and samples on stranded marine 
mammals since 1972 along the Mediterranean and Atlantic French coasts. 
We examined stranding data, including photography and necropsy reports, 
collected between 1972 and 2017 with the aim to provide a comprehensive 
review of confirmed collision records of large whales in France. During 
this period, a total of 51 ship strike incidents were identified which 
represents the 1st identified causes of mortality for large whale in 
France. It has increased since 1972 with seven records during the 1st 
decade to reach 22 stranded animals observed between 2005 and 2017. This 
issue appears particularly critical in the Mediterranean Sea where one 
in five stranded whales showed evidence of ship strike. This review of 
collision records highlights the risk of a negative impact of this 
anthropogenic pressure on the dynamic of whale populations in Europe, 
suggesting that ship strike rates could not allow achieving the Good 
Environmental Status of marine mammal populations required by the 
European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Best wishes
Helene Peltier



Observatoire PELAGIS UMS 3462
Université de La Rochelle-CNRS
5, allées de l'océan
17000 La Rochelle, France

LD: +33 (0) 5 46 50 76 83
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