[MARMAM] New paper: Bottlenose dolphins' behavior towards artisanal fisheries

Eduardo Morteo eduardo.morteo at gmail.com
Wed Sep 11 11:48:21 PDT 2019

Dear All,

On behalf of my co-authors, I'm pleased to announce the publication of our article:

Morales-Rincon, N., Morteo, E., & Delfín-Alfonso, C. (n.d.). Influence of artisanal fisheries on the behaviour and social structure of Tursiops truncatus in the South-western Gulf of Mexico. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 1-9. doi:10.1017/S002531541900078X


Behavioural plasticity in animals is tested whenever competitive interactions for space and/or food resources occur between wildlife and human activities. This study uses the concepts of operational and non-operational interactions between bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and artisanal fisheries in Alvarado, to search for differences in behaviour, age structure and group size. We conducted 20 surveys between 2015 and 2016, and recorded 64 groups by means of scan sampling from either a research boat or a fixed vantage point. Average dolphin group size was small (x= 3.2, SD = 2.2 individuals) and fewer individuals were commonly present when interaction with fisheries occurred. Operational interactions were defined within the first 30 m and occurred mainly with lone individuals (54% recorded from the lighthouse and 82% during surveys); this benchmark also accounted for higher frequencies in locomotion and feeding (X2= 83.10; df = 7; P< 0.001). We found a higher rate of new behavioural events for dolphin groups furthest from human activities, as well as a decrease in behaviours that imply greater body exposure as dolphins approach the fishing spots. Age structure and dolphin group size were not different during and in the absence of interaction with fisheries, but most interactions involved male dolphins. Behavioural variations in the dolphins' repertoire are likely a strategy to reduce the risk of injuries or death when interacting with human activities; these dolphins seem to have habituated to or at least tolerate fishing activities within the study area, possibly constituting a sex-biased pressure.

The article is available at:


To request a PDF copy, please email me at eduardo.morteo at gmail.com <mailto:eduardo.morteo at gmail.com>


Eduardo Morteo, Dr.

Head Researcher Level C
Marine Mammal Laboratory (LabMMar, IIB-ICIMAP)

Institute of Biological Research
Universidad Veracruzana

Calle Dr. Castelazo Ayala S/N, Col. Industrial Ánimas, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, CP 91190.

Ph/Tel: +52 (228) 841 89 00 
E-mail: emorteo at uv.mx




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