Marine Mammal and Fisheries Interactions : Management Challenges in a Changing World
Direct interactions between marine mammals and fisheries pose some of the most serious and immediate threats to the animals and thus represent some important conservation challenges. Giving the current status of global fisheries, the chances of having marine mammals interacting with fishing gear is increasing. There are various way marine mammals can directly interact with fisheries, such as bycatch and depredation, and a lot of research is done to mitigate the problem.
Trophic interactions between marine mammals and fisheries have been the subject for considerable research during the last decade. However, the extent to which the issue is addressed in an ecosystem, a multi-species context, is still limited. Consequently, there is still a lack of unequivocal evidence for competition between marine mammals and fisheries on a global scale. This may be due to (1) the absence of appropriately scaled information on marine mammals’ diet and ecology; (2) the lack of consideration of all trophic groups in the ecosystems where these interactions might happen or (3) the indirect effects being more important than initially thought in foodwebs.
The aim of this symposia is to present an update on our knowledge of direct and indirect interactions between marine mammals and fisheries, to bring fisheries scientists and marine mammal experts together and discuss ideas on how to adapt to these issues in a time of changing marine ecosystems.