[MARMAM] New publication on using interview-based data to measure interactions of artisanal fishing and cetaceans in Sarawak, Malaysia

Cindy Peter cindycharity.peter at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 01:28:33 PDT 2023

Dear Marmam,

We are pleased to announce another publication from Universiti Malaysia
Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Sarawak Dolphin Project entitled "Utilizing
interview-based data to measure interactions of artisanal fishing
communities and cetacean populations in Kuching Bay, Sarawak, East

Samantha A., Peter, C., Minton, G., Ngeian, J., Zulkifli Poh, A.N.,
Mujahid, A., and Tuen, A.A. 2023. Utilizing interview-based data to measure
interactions of artisanal fishing communities and cetacean populations in
Kuching Bay, Sarawak, East Malaysia. Ocean & Coastal Management 239:
106592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2023.106592.

Kuching Bay is a significant area for artisanal fishing activities as well
as an Important Marine Mammal
(IMMA) for coastal cetaceans. A total of 286 fishers from eight fishing
communities were interviewed between 2011 and 2019 to determine the nature
and extent of cetacean-fishery interactions in the area. The main types of
fishing gears recorded were gillnets
trammel nets, trawl nets
longlines, handlines and crab traps, with the use of gears varying by
season and target species. Depredation, net damage, and entanglements
<https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/entanglement> in fishing
gear were the most frequently reported negative interactions with
cetaceans. Thirty-six percent of fishers reported having experienced a
cetacean entanglement in their fishing gear at least once. More than half
(58.1%) of the respondents who experienced bycatch
able to disentangle and release the animals alive. The more conservative
calculated bycatch rate of 0.36 cetaceans per fisher over a fishing career
indicates that a minimum estimated average of 19 cetaceans are involved in
bycatch annually in Kuching Bay, with as many as nine of these incidents
likely resulting in mortality. However, a less conservative method yields a
bycatch rate of 0.57 per fisher, and estimated an average of 30 bycaught
cetaceans per year. Irrawaddy dolphins (*Orcaella brevirostris*) were
reported to be at the highest risk (72.9% of reported incidents), with an
estimated minimum of seven individuals caught and killed per year. Despite
the negative interactions, 77.2% of respondents reported a generally
positive attitude toward cetaceans based on their value for tourism and as
indicators of fish presence and a healthy ecosystem. Mutualistic
relationships between fishers and cetaceans were documented, with 53% of
respondents reporting that they feed discarded fish to cetaceans. The
results of this study can be used to guide effective mitigation measures
which should focus on training fishers in safe handling and release of
entangled cetaceans, and, more importantly, methods to prevent interactions
with gillnets.

Elsevier has provided the authors with a Share Link which gives free access
to the article until 2 June 2023. Just click on the link to download the
pdf: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1gvYc3RKK-y1DN

Do not hesitate to contact me (pcindy at unimas.my) in case of further

Happy Reading!!


Cindy Peter, MSc (Marine Ecology)
Research Fellow and Lecturer
Sarawak Dolphin Project
Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
University Malaysia Sarawak

Office: +60 82 583 069
Mobile: +60 16 892 6027
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