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How fisheries threaten seals and sea lions in South America

2023-03-22
(Press-News.org) Seals, sea lions, and fur seals are at risk from interactions with fisheries and aquaculture, as they can become entangled in nets or cages, and drown. In a study published in Mammal Review, investigators analyzed research from the last 25 years on operational and biological interactions between these marine mammals and fisheries and aquaculture activities in South American waters. 

The authors found that two species are primarily involved in interactions in many countries: the South American sea lion Otaria flavescens and the South American fur seal Arctocephalus australis. Despite the high frequency of interactions, the economic losses to fisheries and aquaculture related to sea lion depredation are low. Incidental capture and mortality of seals has been reported widely, but the magnitude of the problem remains unknown. 

Limited progress has been made to incorporate measures to mitigate fisheries interactions, likely due to a limited understanding of ecosystem complexity, the costs of modifying fishing gear, and the scarcity of fishing controls. The authors stressed that more work is needed to aid the conservation of these species, and stakeholder education is key to this work.

“This study provides a deep analysis on the interactions between pinnipeds and fisheries and aquaculture in South American waters, highlighting the need to improve policy and management relating to marine mammal interactions,” said corresponding author Maritza Sepúlveda, PhD, of the Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile.

URL upon publication: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mam.12311

 

Additional Information
NOTE: The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout, newsroom@wiley.com.

About the Journal
Mammal Review is the official scientific periodical of The Mammal Society. Mammal Review covers all aspects of mammalian biology, including behavioral ecology, biogeography, conservation, ecology, ethology, evolution, genetics, human ecology, management, morphology, and taxonomy.

About Wiley
Wiley is one of the world’s largest publishers and a global leader in scientific research and career-connected education. Founded in 1807, Wiley enables discovery, powers education, and shapes workforces. Through its industry-leading content, digital platforms, and knowledge networks, the company delivers on its timeless mission to unlock human potential. Visit us at Wiley.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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[Press-News.org] How fisheries threaten seals and sea lions in South America