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


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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Available from: Camila Ventura da Silva
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    • "Studies of the bottlenose dolphin have reported that bycatches in fisheries are fairly rare (Praderi, 1985, 1990), but these captures do occur and are caused by gillnets (Praderi, 1985; Franco-Trecu et al., 2009). Traditional fishing communities can provide practical and theoretical information based on their observations of the biology and ecology of animals distributed in their region (Costa-Neto, 2000; Zappes et al., 2013b). This information represents the accumulation of years of experience in activities related to the use of marine resources in the environment in which they live, allowing the construction of a culture integrated with nature as well as appropriate forms of management. "

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    • "Life histories are considered particularly useful where information is scarce or conceptualisation limited; as they provide a rich source of contextually situated (historical, social, economic and cultural) knowledge, while exploring the complexities of individual realities [45] [26]. Face-toface interviewing also grants freedom to respondents, encouraging confidence and minimising the gap between interviewee and researcher [92] [86]. Between 2009 and 2010 the Cabuno camp was home to a vibrant fishing population, which peaked in size during the dry (November–April) season. "
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