Miliou, A., Baș, A.A., and Pietroluongo, G. Interactions between marine mammals and fisheries: case studies from the Eastern Aegean and the Levantine Sea. CIESM Monograph 50 2018.
Anthropic presence is growing in the oceans worldwide, causing an alarming rise in dolphin-human interactions. The current report summarizes the results of fishery interactions with small marine mammal species, including the endangered Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis). These species have been regularly sighted in the close vicinity of fishing vessels, while entanglement and depredation events in the artisanal fishing gear, purse seiners and trawlers have been recorded. Additionally, deliberate killing of striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) have been documented. Due to the increasing interaction rates within the last decades, direct consequences such as behavioral modifications, injuries and death are unavoidable. Similarly inevitable are the indirect effects like the growing hostility of fishermen to certain species due to the depredation of their nets but also due to the overall decrease of common prey stocks. Therefore, focused and joint studies on the short and long- term interactions between marine mammals and fishery activities in line with awareness campaigns are crucial to improve the understanding of the direct and indirect impacts resulting from fishery practices. This is an important prerequisite to develop effective conservation measures before this pressure causes significant effects on the entire Mediterranean populations of these data-deficient species at risk.