[MARMAM] New paper: By-catch risk for toothed whales in global small-scale fisheries

Andrew Temple andrew.j.l.temple at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 04:30:03 PDT 2021

Dear All,

Myself and my coauthors are pleased to announce the publication of our new
paper which is available Open Access at the following link:

Temple AJ, Westmerland E, Berggren P. (2021) By-catch risk for toothed
whales in global small-scale fisheries. Fish and Fisheries. 00:1-5.

Abstract: Fisheries by-catch poses the single greatest threat to cetacean
(whales, dolphins and porpoises) populations. Despite this, by-catch of
cetaceans does not receive proportionate levels of research or management
effort. The contribution of small-scale fisheries to cetacean by-catch is
generally overlooked because of the extreme data paucity in these
fisheries. Here, we assess the likely geographic distribution of by-catch
risk posed to the odontocetes (toothed whales) at the global scale. We
combine species’ occurrence and estimates of fisheries susceptibility for
all 72 marine toothed whale species with estimates of small-scale
fisheries’ gillnet fishing pressure across 163 marine fishing nations. We
show that the by-catch risk from small-scale fisheries is likely greatest
in low- and middle-income regions, generally in the tropics and
sub-tropics. Our findings highlight a “wicked problem”, that the highest
by-catch risks primarily occur in regions with lowest fisheries management
efficacy. Addressing by-catch in these priority regions is fraught with
potentially damaging consequences for the survival of vulnerable human
coastal communities. Yet, immediate management and conservation actions are
required to prevent species extirpation and extinction through the
reduction of small-scale fisheries by-catch. To be successful, these
actions will likely require multilateral cooperation and must carefully
balance both species and human needs.

Best wishes,


Dr Andrew J. Temple
Senior Consultant,
MRAG Ltd. Mayfair, London, United Kingdom
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