[MARMAM] new paper on whaling, whale conservation

Russell Fielding rfielding at coastal.edu
Mon Jul 18 22:42:13 PDT 2022

Dear MARMAM list subscribers,

I am happy to share a recently-published paper that considers some of the difficult intersections between small cetacean conservation and the sustainable development of traditional whaling societies. The paper focuses on St. Vincent & the Grenadines in the Caribbean and concludes with recommendations for both future science and future policy. It is published open-access in the journal Sustainability and can be found at the following link:


Realizing that this topic could be controversial, I have tried to approach it in a balanced, considerate way. I have been working with the whaling and whale-conservation communities in St. Vincent for several years now and would welcome feedback from MARMAM list users via email: rfielding at coastal.edu.

Abstract: The sustainable conservation of marine mammals depends not only upon considerations made for the marine mammals themselves. In many parts of the world, human societies have developed a deep reliance upon marine mammals as a food source. The sustainability and the equitable, sustainable development of these communities should be considered alongside efforts to conserve the marine mammals upon which people rely. As an example of the complexity inherent to simultaneous efforts on both fronts, this paper reviews and synthesizes two lines of research related to a small-scale whaling operation for odontocetes (dolphins and toothed whales) based in the Eastern Caribbean. The first considers the patterns of consumption and demand by the local public. The second analyzes the presence of mercury and other environmental contaminants in the tissues of the odontocetes. The results of this synthesis suggest that odontocete-based food products in the Eastern Caribbean are both highly popular and heavily contaminated, thus complicating an already-complex system in need of efforts toward both sustainability and sustainable development. The paper concludes with recommendations for both future research and future policy considerations.

Russell Fielding


Russell Fielding, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

HTC Honors College

Coastal Carolina University

P.O. Box 261954
Conway, SC  29528-6054

rfielding at coastal.edu<mailto:rfielding at coastal.edu>

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