|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Categories||Cetaceans, Fishes, Mammals|
|Date||17 Jan 2004|
The Rio Grande do Sul/Uruguay franciscana subpopulation is considered to have declined over 30% since the 60s (vulnerable in the IUCN Red List). Proper assessment of the species’ interaction with fisheries requires long-term surveys. Since the monitoring of Uruguayan artisanal fisheries has been undertaken last year, after a 10-year information gap, it becomes necessary to continue it. Additionally, the species is known to get caught by trawlers, but this kind of interaction has not been evaluated along its entire distribution yet.
The aim of this proposal is to quantify the incidental capture of franciscanas in the artisanal fisheries which showed greatest interaction between June 2004 and May 2005 along the Uruguayan coast. It is also intended to start systematic records on the species’ incidental capture by the coastal bottom trawl fishery operating in the Common Argentinean – Uruguayan Fishing Area.
Hence, our objectives are:
• To evaluate and quantify incidental mortality of franciscanas in artisanal fisheries (where most incidental captures were recorded from June 2004 to May 2005) and bottom trawl fishery on part of the Uruguayan coast.
• To obtain biological data from caught and stranded individuals. To reinforce work with fishermen and coastal local communities, generating consciousness of the problems involved and the importance of the study.
• To integrate the obtained information regionally, and coordinate efforts for the conservation of the species.
The study will contribute to evaluate the mortality of franciscanas in artisanal gillnets and, for the first time, the interaction of the species with trawl fishing. Fishermen will be informed of the problems related to the franciscana incidental capture, with the aim of achieving coordinated work so as to maximize conservation efforts. Besides, this project will generate the raw material to continue developing other valuable studies related to the biology of the species (such as genetic population structure, food habits, reproduction, parasite and contaminant loads). This information will allow us to coordinate sustainable studies with regional working groups and it will be useful as a tool to implement future conservation measures.