The conflict between the southern right whale and coastal fisheries on the southern coast of Brazil

Marine Policy (Impact Factor: 2.62). 03/2013; 38:428–437. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.07.003

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to identify the interactions and conflicts that exist between the southern right whale (E. australis) and the coastal fisheries performed in the Southern Right Whale Environmental Preservation Area (EPA) in the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, through the knowledge of local fishers. Thirty-three ethnographic interviews held in October 2010 found that 81.8% (N=27) of the fishermen interviewed were able to identify the species by its area of occurrence, coloration, and body size. The subsequent analysis of interviews was based on those 27 fishermen selected. There were no reports of positive interactions, and 52% (N=14) of those interviewed described negative interactions related to whales “tearing and/or dragging the gillnets”. Accidents between whales and fishing vessels were described by 44% (N=12) of the fishermen. Accidental captures in gillnets were mentioned in 48% (N=13) of the interviews and fishermen believed that these events were caused by whales failing to see gillnets in the water (N=4) and by the position of these nets in the routes frequented by the mammals (N=9). In the fishermen's eyes this type of interaction has minimal impact on fishery. Therefore, is suggested the monitoring of areas frequented by whales and fishery, the use of gillnets away from these animals' migration routes, the search for alternative and lower-impact fishing activities, and the training of local actors for sustainable whale watching tourism in the region.

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