Navigation Links
Monk seal and hump-backed dolphin are threatened by fishing activities off coast of Mauritania
Date:1/21/2011

Catalan researchers have studied the marine trophic network in Mauritania, on the north west coast of Africa, which is an extremely heavily exploited fishing area, as well as being home to two of the world's most threatened species of marine mammal the monk seal and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin. The results of the study show that industrial and traditional fishing activities along the coast are putting these mammals and local marine ecosystems at great danger.

The researchers studied the local marine trophic network off the north west coast of Africa, and by analysing stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes were able to verify the distribution and trophic position of 13 mammal species and also that of other species of macro seaweed, marine plants, fish, molluscs, turtles and phytoplankton, which had never been studied before.

The monk seal (Monachus monachus) and the Atlantic hump-backed dolphin (Sousa teuszii) are "the most coastal species of the whole area studied, and are the only ones occupying this marine ecosystem", Ana M. Pinela, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Barcelona (UB), tells SINC.

The Portuguese scientist says this area, which is so "extremely" over-exploited by both industrial and traditional fishing "should be a conservation priority for these species, which are important for biodiversity. If they disappear, it would be hard for others to take their place". This would cause a "serious" imbalance "at all levels" in local coastal ecosystems, which would remain without two super-predators that are "essential" for them to function properly.

The study, which has been published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, shows the importance of the predators Monachus monachus and Sousa teuszii for the proper functioning of coastal ecosystems in Mauritania.

The killer whale (Orcinus orca), which is also present in Mauritania, feeds at the same trophic level as the monk seal, meaning it feeds on fish, and not on marine mammals as it does off some other coasts. However, "its range is much more pelagic (of open oceans)", says Pinela, who has described the offshore ecotype of the killer whales in this region for the first time.

"Unprecedented" fishing exploitation

"Mauritania contains some of the most heavily-exploited fisheries habitats in the whole world, with one of the world's largest fisheries stocks, which is subject to very little regulation, inspection or control", explains the researcher. Two of the world's most threatened species live off this coast the monk seal, which is on the verge of extinction, and the hump-backed dolphin, which has a very limited geographic range and is little known.

The scientists say conservation of these coastal areas should be "a priority". "The Mauritanian Government and international agencies should more strongly monitor both industrial and traditional fisheries exploitation both in deep sea and coastal areas", says Pinela. Over-fishing and the over-exploitation of resources limits the availability of prey for these species and damages ecosystems.

The research team is calling for "more diligent" regulation of such fishing practices, monitoring and control of the fishing fleet, "be it Mauritanian or international", and the implementation of sustainable fishing off the north west of Africa.

In addition, estimates should be made of fish abundance and catches in the entire study area, because it is "a biodiversity hotspot that is home to a great diversity of marine mammals", concludes Pinela.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New research shows dolphin by-catch includes genetic relatives
2. TWIPS -- sonar inspired by dolphins
3. Successful mothers get help from their friends: Dolphin study
4. Harbor seals whiskers as good at detecting fish as echolocating dolphins
5. Dolphins use diplomacy in their communication
6. Satellites, DNA and dolphins
7. Rodeo bull goes head-to-head with zoo dolphins in a study of balance
8. Thrill-seeking holiday-makers are putting dolphins at risk
9. Thrill-seeking holidaymakers are putting dolphins at risk
10. Dolphin cognitive abilities raise ethical questions, says Emory neuroscientist
11. Commercial fishing endangers dolphin populations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Monk seal and hump-backed dolphin are threatened by fishing activities off coast of Mauritania
(Date:11/30/2016)...  higi SH llc (higi) announced today the ... brands, industry thought-leaders and celebrity influencers looking to ... taking steps to live healthier, more active lives. ... has built the largest self-screening health station network ... who have conducted over 185 million biometric screenings.  ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... 29, 2016 Nearly one billion matches per second ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's ... efficient Identity Management. (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... PUNE, India , November 22, 2016 According ... (Single-Factor: (Fingerprint, IRIS, Palm Print, Face, Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow from ... at a CAGR of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016 Eurofins announces the appointment of Sean Murray ... Scientific Inc. (ESI). Mr. Murray will bring valuable ... entrepreneurial experience in leading international business teams. As the National Division ... to uphold Eurofins, status as the global leader in bio-analytical testing ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Oxford Gene Technology ... SureSeq™ NGS panel range with the launch of the SureSeq ... study of variants in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The panel delivers ... on a single small panel and allows customisation by ,mix ... all exons for LDLR , P C ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Microbial genomics leader, ... uBiome is one of just six company finalists in the Health & Medicine ... uBiome, companies nominated as finalists in this year’s awards include Google, SpaceX, Oculus, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQX: ... develops and plans to commercialize innovative therapeutics for ... common stock were approved for trading on the ... on the OTCQX, effective today, under the ticker ... OTCQX market, companies must meet high financial standards, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: