[MARMAM] New Publication: Welfare Science in Marine Mammal Conservation

Isabella Clegg isabella at animalwelfareexpertise.com
Mon Jun 14 16:00:15 PDT 2021

Dear Colleagues,

My co-authors Karen Stockin, Rebecca Boys and I are very pleased to be able
to share our new paper in the journal *Animals* on the application of
welfare science to marine mammal conservation.

We found that publications on marine mammal welfare are infrequent but on
the rise, and that there is a need for a common language between welfare
science and marine mammal research to improve the translation and reception
of this cross-disciplinary field.

The paper is open access at https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/11/6/1596/html,
and you can find the abstract and citation below. Please don't hesitate to
email if you have any questions or trouble accessing it.

Best wishes,


Dr. Isabella Clegg

Founder, Animal Welfare Expertise


Twitter: @izziclegg; IG: @thedolphindoctor

AUS: +61 423 973 914    UK: +44 7971 101 244

TEDx talk: https://youtu.be/sb_eEPDzgAg

BBC report: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44273624

Clegg, I.L.K.; Boys, R.M.; Stockin, K.A. Increasing the Awareness of Animal
Welfare Science in Marine Mammal Conservation: Addressing Language,
Translation and Reception Issues. *Animals* 2021, *11*, 1596.

Integrating welfare principles into conservation strategy is an emerging
synthesis that encourages consideration of individual animals’ quality of
life in research, policies and law. However, these principles have gained
limited traction in marine compared to terrestrial animal conservation.
This manuscript investigates several factors that may be contributing to
this disparity. In order to gauge current understanding of animal welfare
science principles by marine mammal researchers and other stakeholders, a
“Welfare in the Wild” workshop was convened at the 32nd European Cetacean
Society conference (La Spezia, Italy, April 2018). The workshop was
attended by 30 participants who completed pre- and post-workshop surveys on
animal welfare principles. The survey results highlight a range of
different views about exactly what animal welfare science is and how it can
be applied to marine mammals. Specifically, participants’ definitions
appeared to vary depending on the type of employment or research they
engaged in, indicating a need for an interdisciplinary common language.
Secondly, we analysed the peer-reviewed literature in order to ascertain
where marine mammal publications exploring welfare were being published.
>From 1950 to July 2020, a total of 299 articles featured both marine mammal
taxa (one or more) and the word welfare in the title, abstract or keywords.
This represents just 0.96% of the total peer-reviewed published papers on
marine mammal taxa (n = 31,221) during the same period. When examining
articles published within “Welfare and Ethics” (n = 6133) and
“Aquatic-focused” (n = 139,352) journals, just 1.2% (n = 71) and 0.04% (n =
57) of articles, respectively, featured the word welfare when examining
marine mammals. With the aim of exploring how explicitly including welfare
evaluations in marine mammal research and management can benefit
conservation outcomes, we framed our workshop and quantitative literature
review findings to provide practical solutions to the language, translation
and reception issues of this burgeoning cross-disciplinary collaboration.
*Keywords: *animal welfare science
<https://www.mdpi.com/search?q=animal%20welfare%20science>; conservation
biology <https://www.mdpi.com/search?q=conservation%20biology>; marine
mammals <https://www.mdpi.com/search?q=marine%20mammals>; wild animal
welfare <https://www.mdpi.com/search?q=wild%20animal%20welfare>
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