An Evaluation on Interaction of Cetaceans with Fisheries in the seas around Turkey
Keywords:Conservation, ecological interactions, The Aegean Sea, The Black Sea, The Levantine Sea
Interaction between fisheries and cetacean species has been one of the challenging issues in marine biology for the last three decades. Even though there have been some attempts to regulate legislations or mitigation action for their by-catch in certain regions, the bilateral effects of this interaction are not fully understood for the seas around Turkey. Therefore, interviews were carried out between March 2019 and February 2020, with 186 fishers from the coasts of the Turkish Black Sea and the Mediterranean. As a result of the interviews, fleet, and fishing characteristics of sampling groups were described for each sea region. Then, the interaction and attitude of fishers against to the cetacean species were presented and evaluated to provide a baseline for developing effective conservation and management strategies in Turkey. As a conclusion, it was pointed out that a higher dependency of cetaceans to fishery year by year for all regions. Regional differences were determined for the characteristics of the interaction. The fishery in the Black Sea, results in higher by-catch events for cetaceans, while cetaceans lead to higher damages on fishing gear and catch in the Mediterranean. Additionally, a notable phenological shift was observed between industrial and small-scale fisheries in the Mediterranean. Even though most of the fishers like cetaceans and accept sharing fish with them, results highlighted the requirement of a severe consideration to increasing their awareness in fishers from the Black Sea region as well as actions must be prioritized to reduce damage on fishing gears and mitigation of cetacean by-catch to deliver more effective conservation of cetacean
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