[MARMAM] New Paper: Injuries, malformations and epidermal conditions in cetaceans of the the Strait of Gibraltar

Helena Herr helena.herr at uni-hamburg.de
Wed Mar 11 14:54:13 PDT 2020

We are pleased to announce the publication of our paper

Herr,H., Burkhardt-Holm, P., Heyer, K., Siebert, U., and Selling, J.(2020) Injuries, Malformations and Epidermal Conditions in Cetaceans of the the Strait of Gibraltar. Aquatic Mammals 46(2), 215-235, DOI 10.1578/AM.46.2.2020.215

The Strait of Gibraltar is a heavily used marine area, with intense fishing operations and one of the busiest shipping lanes worldwide. Concurrently, the Strait of Gibraltar is home to eight regularly occurring species of cetaceans. Thus, the potential for conflict between man and cetaceans is high. Injuries and external anomalies may serve as indi- cators for anthropogenic impacts and exposure to human activities. To explore potential impacts to cetacean populations inhabiting the Strait of Gibraltar, we analysed photographs taken oppor- tunistically during whale-watching operations from 2001 to 2015. Externally visible conspicuous features and anomalies were detected in all of the eight regularly occurring cetacean species: long beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), long- finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas), killer whale (Orcinus orca), sperm whale (Physeter mac- rocephalus), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), and minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Altogether, 502 anomalies were documented in 494 cases of affected cetaceans, including inju- ries, skin anomalies, emaciation, and neoplasia. Highest prevalence was noted for injuries (245 incidences) of which a minimum of 44 (17%) were consistent with anthropogenic injuries. Our results suggest that human activities in the Strait of Gibraltar, especially fishing activities, pose a threat, particularly to small and medium-sized cetaceans. We, therefore, recommend stricter management enforcement of existing guidelines and laws, as well as the implementation of an area-wide management plan.

The paper is open access and freely available for download following this link:
https://www.aquaticmammalsjournal.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2005:injuries-malformations-and-epidermal-conditions-in-cetaceans-of-the-strait-of-gibraltar&catid=186&Itemid=326 <https://www.aquaticmammalsjournal.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2005:injuries-malformations-and-epidermal-conditions-in-cetaceans-of-the-strait-of-gibraltar&catid=186&Itemid=326> 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.




Dr. Helena Herr
Marine Mammal Ecologist
Center of Natural History
Universität Hamburg

Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3 
20146 Hamburg, Germany

+49 40 42838-1560
helena.herr at uni-hamburg.de

Website: www.cenak.uni-hamburg.de <http://www.cenak.uni-hamburg.de/>
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