Positive interactions between Irrawaddy dolphins and artisanal fishers in the Chilika Lagoon of Eastern India are driven by ecology, socioeconomics, and culture

D'Lima, Dominique, Marsh, Helene, Hamann, Mark, Sinha, Anindya, and Arthur, Rohan (2014) Positive interactions between Irrawaddy dolphins and artisanal fishers in the Chilika Lagoon of Eastern India are driven by ecology, socioeconomics, and culture. Ambio, 43 (5). pp. 614-624.

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Abstract

In human-dominated landscapes, interactions and perceptions towards wildlife are influenced by multidimensional drivers. Understanding these drivers could prove useful for wildlife conservation. We surveyed the attitudes and perceptions of fishers towards threatened Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) at Chilika Lagoon India. To validate the drivers of fisher perceptions, we: (1) observed dolphin foraging behavior at stake nets, and (2) compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) and catch income of fishers from stake nets in the presence and absence of foraging dolphins. We found that fishers were mostly positive towards dolphins, believing that dolphins augmented their fish catch and using culture to express their perceptions. Foraging dolphins were observed spending half their time at stake nets and were associated with significantly higher catch income and CPUE of mullet (Liza sp.), a locally preferred food fish species. Wildlife conservation efforts should use the multidimensional drivers of human–wildlife interactions to involve local stakeholders in management.

Item ID: 38342
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: human–wildlife interactions; fisher perceptions; dolphin behavior; fisher livelihoods; Orcaella brevirostris; fish catch
ISSN: 1654-7209
Funders: Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Society for Marine Mammalogy, Rufford Foundation, Conservation Leadership Program, James Cook University
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 01:39
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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