Interactions between cetaceans and artisanal fishermen from Ilhéus, Bahia - Brazil


  • Cecilia Inés Seminara Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia
  • Márcio Luiz Vargas Barbosa-Filho Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Etnobiologia e Conservação da Natureza
  • Yvonnick Le Pendu Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas


ethnobiology marine mammals, bycatch, entanglement, collision


Abstract: Ethnobiological studies are necessary to understand the relationships between fishers and cetaceans. The aim of this study was to describe the interactions between cetaceans and artisanal fishers and the possible conflicts that can arise as a result. Semi-structured interviews were conducted from February to September 2017 with 35 fishermen from the municipality of Ilhéus, Brazil. All fishermen reported both positive and negative interactions with Megaptera novaeangliae, Tursiops truncatus and Sotalia guianensis and only negative interactions with Balaenoptera acutorostrata (n=14) and Stenella frontalis (n=4). The positive interactions consisted of playful relationships and collaborative fishing. Negative interactions (bycatch, entanglement, collisions) affect both the fishermen and cetaceans. S. guianensis is the species most affected by bycatch in fishing nets and M. novaeangliae by entanglement and collision with vessels. The results of this study highlight the value of bringing together scientific and fishing communities to understand conflicts by monitoring interactions in order to assess the impact of fishing activity on cetacean populations. Fishers have a positive perception of cetaceans, know the areas where accidents occur and would like to avoid them. They can contribute to research on these animals and to the development of management plans appropriate to the local reality. This points out the need to integrate scientific and local knowledge for the conservation of cetaceans and for the sustainability of fishing practices.




How to Cite

Seminara, C. I., Barbosa-Filho, M. L. V., & Pendu, Y. L. (2019). Interactions between cetaceans and artisanal fishermen from Ilhéus, Bahia - Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 19(4). Retrieved from //




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