Positive Interactions Between Irrawaddy Dolphins and Artisanal Fishers in the Chilika Lagoon of Eastern India are Driven by Ecology, Socioeconomics, and Culture
- 409 Downloads
In human-dominated landscapes, interactions and perceptions towards wildlife are influenced by multidimensional drivers. Understanding these drivers could prove useful for wildlife conservation. We surveyed the attitudes and perceptions of fishers towards threatened Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) at Chilika Lagoon India. To validate the drivers of fisher perceptions, we : (1) observed dolphin foraging behavior at stake nets, and (2) compared catch per unit effort (CPUE) and catch income of fishers from stake nets in the presence and absence of foraging dolphins. We found that fishers were mostly positive towards dolphins, believing that dolphins augmented their fish catch and using culture to express their perceptions. Foraging dolphins were observed spending half their time at stake nets and were associated with significantly higher catch income and CPUE of mullet (Liza sp.), a locally preferred food fish species. Wildlife conservation efforts should use the multidimensional drivers of human–wildlife interactions to involve local stakeholders in management.
KeywordsHuman–wildlife interactions Fisher perceptions Dolphin behavior Fisher livelihoods Orcaella brevirostris Fish catch
The authors thank the state Forest Department of Odisha for providing permits to conduct this study. We also thank D. Sutaria for providing initial logistic support and advice, and N. Ban and two anonymous reviewers for comments on this manuscript. We are sincerely grateful to the numerous team members and field assistants who helped conduct the field work for this study. We thank the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, the Society for Marine Mammalogy, The Rufford Foundation and the Conservation Leadership Program for funding the field work of this study. James Cook University, Australia and Nature Conservation Foundation, India are thanked for institutional and logistic support provided to the first author.
- Anonymous. 1992. The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Deharadun: Natraj Publishers.Google Scholar
- Berkes, F. 2008. Context of traditional ecological knowledge. In Sacred ecology, ed. F. Berkes, 209 pp. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Evely, A.C., I. Fazey, M. Pinard, and X. Lambin. 2008. The influence of philosophical perspectives in integrative research: A conservation case study in the Cairngorms National Park. Ecology and Society 13: 52.Google Scholar
- Ferreira, T., and W. Rasband. 2011. The ImageJ User Guide 1.44. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from http://rsbweb.nih.gov/ij/docs/user-guide.pdf.
- Froese, R., and D. Pauly. 2011. FishBase. Retrieved March 1, 2012, from http://www.fishbase.org/search.php.
- Garibaldi, A., and N. Turner. 2004. Cultural Keystone Species: Implications for ecological conservation and restoration. Ecology and Society 9: 1.Google Scholar
- Gravena, W., T. Hrbek, V.M.F. Da Silva, and I.P. Farias. 2008. Amazon River dolphin love fetishes: From folklore to molecular forensics. Marine Mammal Science 24: 969–978.Google Scholar
- IUCN. 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/15419/0.
- Kemper, C.M., D. Pemberton, M. Cawthorn, S. Heinrich, J. Mann, B. Wuersig, P. Shaughnessy, and R. Gales. 2003. Aquaculture and marine mammals: Co-existence or conflict? In Marine mammals: Fisheries, tourism and management issues, ed. N. Gales, M. Hindell, and R. Kirkwood, 446 pp. Collingwood: CSIRO.Google Scholar
- Lewis, J.S., and W.W. Shroeder. 2003. Mud plume feeding, a unique foraging behaviour of the bottlenose dolphin in the Florida keys. Gulf of Mexico Science 21: 92–95.Google Scholar
- Passariello, P. 1999. Me and my totem: Cross-cultural attitudes towards animals. In Attitudes to animals: Views in animal welfare, ed. F.L. Dolins, 263 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Pattanaik, S. 2007. Conservation of environmental and protection of marginalized fishing communities of Lake Chilika in Orissa, India. Journal of Human Ecology 22: 291–302.Google Scholar
- Pattnaik, A.K., D. Sutaria, M. Khan, and B.P. Behera. 2007. Review of the status and conservation of Irrawaddy Dolphins Orcaella brevirostris in Chilika Lagoon of India. In Status and conservation of freshwater populations of Irrawaddy dolphins, ed. B.D. Smith, R.G. Shore, and A. Lopez, 115 pp. New York: Wildlife Conservation Society.Google Scholar
- Rajagopalan, R. 2008. Marine protected areas in India. In Samudra monograph, ed. K.G. Kumar, 69 pp. Chennai: International Collective in Support of Fishworkers.Google Scholar
- Ramsar. 2002. Retrieved on March 5, 2012, from http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-documents-rams-ram50/main/ramsar/1-31-112%5E22934_4000_0__.
- Stacey, P.J., and G.T. Hvenegaard. 2002. Habitat use and behaviour of Irrawaddy Dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) in the Mekong River of Laos. Aquatic Mammals 28: 1–13.Google Scholar
- Sutaria, D. 2009. Species conservation in a complex socio-ecological system: Irrawaddy dolphins, Orcaella brevirostris in Chilika lagoon, India. PhD thesis. Townsville, Australia: James Cook University.Google Scholar
- Telesco, P., and R. Hall. 2002. Animal spirit: Spells, sorcery, and symbols from the wild. Franklin Lakes: Career Press.Google Scholar
- Woodroffe, R., S. Thirgood, and A. Rabinowitz. 2005. The impact of human–wildlife conflict on natural systems. In People and wildlife: Conflict or coexistence?, ed. R. Woodroffe, S. Thirgood, and A. Rabinowitz, 497 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Zappes, C.A., A. Andriolo, P.C. Simões-Lopes, and A.P.M. Di Beneditto. 2011. ‘Human–dolphin (Tursiops truncatus Montagu, 1821) cooperative fishery’ and its influence on cast net fishing activities in Barra de Imbé/Tramandaí, Southern Brazil. Ocean and Coastal Management 54: 427–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar