Living with dolphins: local ecological knowledge and perceptions of small cetaceans along the Sindhudurg coastline of Maharashtra, India

Jog, Ketki, Sule, Mihir, Bopardikar, Isha, Patankar, Vardhan, and Sutaria, Dipani (2018) Living with dolphins: local ecological knowledge and perceptions of small cetaceans along the Sindhudurg coastline of Maharashtra, India. Marine Mammal Science, 34 (2). pp. 488-498.

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Abstract

Two near shore small cetaceans occur commonly along the Maharashtra coast, the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin and Indo Pacific finless porpoise. These cetaceans frequently interact with fisheries in this region due to overlap in space and resource use. Besides stranding records, little ecological information is available about these species from Maharashtra. We conducted 143 semistructured interviews to document local ecological knowledge and community perceptions of small cetaceans in 30 coastal fishing villages in Sindhudurg. Perceptions of finless porpoises were largely neutral, whereas humpback dolphins were negative. A classification regression tree (CART) analysis (root node error: 60%) showed that the annual cost of gear damage was an important predictor variable of humpback dolphin perceptions, followed by occupation (gear type) and age. Entanglements were reported for both species in large and small gill nets, and shore seines. Perceived net damage and catch loss due to humpback dolphins was six times greater than that of finless porpoises. However, finless porpoises were reportedly more frequently entangled in gear than humpback dolphins. We provide an insight into the perceptions of cetaceans in the local community and the fisheries‐cetacean interactions that shape them.

Item ID: 53647
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1748-7692
Keywords: Sousa plumbea, Neophocaena phocaenoides, local ecological knowledge, perceptions, cetacean-fisheries interactions, competition, marine mammals
Copyright Information: © 2017 Society for Marine Mammalogy
Funders: Rufford Small Grants Foundation (RSGF)
Projects and Grants: RSGF 11232‐1
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 07:31
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
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