Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The final report for the cetacean bycatch study, funded by the International Whaling Commission

Berikut ini adalah abstrak dan tautan untuk laporan akhir cetacean bycatch di Paloh dan Adonara Indonesia yang didanai oleh the International Whaling Commission. Di bawah ini adalah artikel bahasa Inggris. Untuk bahasa Indonesia, klik tautan ini. 

Fishing boats in Paloh, West Kalimantan (@Putu Liza Mustika 2014)

The followings are the abstract and link to the final report of cetacean bycatch in Paloh and Adonara Indonesia, generously funded by the International Whaling Commission. Our many gratitudes to Dr Toni Ruchimat as the Director General of the Capture Fisheries of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries for his support and introductory letter. Our many gratitudes as well to WWF Indonesia, particularly Dwi Suprapti, DVM and Agri Aditya who have taken us everywhere in Paloh, West Kalimantan during our field work. We would also like to acknowledge Dr Danielle Kreb (RASI Foundation) and Dr Tara S. Whitty who had conducted their independent cetacean bycatch studies in East Kalimantan prior to this study. Dr Whitty had also provided us useful suggestions during the design phase of the work. Our thanks are also extended to our research assistants (Emitha Wulandari, Tyas Woro Prasasti and Abdul Hamid Sidik) for the data collection and data entry.

If the link is not working, do contact me at putuliza at gmail dot com for the PDF.

A pilot study to identify the extent of small cetacean bycatch in Indonesia using fisher interview and stranding data as proxies

Final report to the International Whaling Commission

By Putu Liza Mustika1, Februanty S. Purnomo2, and Simon Northridge3

1, 2 Whale Stranding Indonesia
3 School of Biology, University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom


This study examines the extent of artisanal fishery bycatch of cetaceans at two locations in Indonesia. The study locations were at Paloh (West Kalimantan) and at Adonara (East Nusa Tenggara); each site represents different gear types and different cetacean species. We used three methods: semi-structured interviews of fishermen; examination of stranding data and direct observations. The work was preceded by a workshop to identify signs of fishing gear interaction on cetacean stranding cases in Bali in November 2013, followed by direct observations and interviews from late February to early May 2014. 

Paloh and Adonara interviewees were seasoned fishers who had been fishing for at least 15 years. Generally speaking however, the respondents were still relatively young, about 40 years old, with limited formal education. Adonara fishers have significantly more family members depending on them with less alternative income source compared to Paloh.

Finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides - Vulnerable) and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis – Near Threatened) are often accidentally caught in Paloh (West Kalimantan), whereas spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) are most often accidentally caught in Adonara. Based on interview result, most cetacean bycatch incidents had occurred in 2013 (34 events for combined sites). All incidental entanglements in Paloh was caused by gillnets. A total of 75% of bycatch in Adonara was caused by purse seines. Most dolphins were dead when found in the net.

The greater number of family dependants and fewer alternative income prospects in Adonara are more significant factors in bycatch mitigation for this region compared to Paloh. However, the conservation threats from Paloh should not be played down because the bycatch species there are listed as either Vulnerable or Near Threatened.

Our sample is too restricted to understand the larger context of artisanal cetacean bycatch in Indonesia where there were over 280,600 gillnet units and over 73,400 seine units in 2011. However, this study has unearthed some important information on the nature and scale of artisanal fishery bycatch of cetaceans in two different regions in Indonesia, including trans-boundary fishery issues between Paloh and Sarawak (Malaysia). The two cetacean bycatch observations made in Paloh indicate fishers’ willingness to cooperate to find solutions.

The bycatch lectures and necropsy session during the marine mammal stranding workshop in November 2013 and the photographs from a stranded specimen in East Kalimantan show that stranding data can help indicate the extent of bycatch in the country, although such data and the strandings infrastructure are still insufficient to build a comprehensive picture. We suggest that future marine mammal stranding training workshops also include the bycatch components, including the issue of how to release live specimens from entanglement.

Recommended research directions include cetacean artisanal bycatch research within Indonesia and also with other countries such as Malaysia and an expansion of aims to incorporate bycatch research among commercial fishing vessels.

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