The interaction between dolphins and fishers is a widespread and intensifying issue due to declining fish stocks and dolphins’ adaptability to human activities and feeding habits.
Author: Arlinda Rrustemi, Director, Peace Analytics Adviser, Netherlands Institute for Multi-party Democracy Research Fellow, Leiden University
This study investigates the conflict between dolphin conservation and fishermen’s livelihoods, exploring innovative methodologies to address this challenge. The research identifies several solutions: three technological measures, including LED nets, banana pingers, and lowering gillnets, and seven non-technological measures, such as fish stock restoration, gear adjustments, and shifting to ecotourism. Despite the potential of these measures, scepticism exists regarding their efficacy in practice.
The study also highlights the importance of considering the local context, ecosystem, culture, economy, and politics to develop effective and sustainable solutions. Financial, legislative, and educational measures should complement these efforts, while capacity building, enforcement and surveillance are also necessary. Ultimately, the implementation of solutions should take place in a multi-stakeholder setting, considering the needs and characteristics of small-scale fisheries to effectively reduce the conflict between fisheries and marine mammals and to maintain a sustainable balance between conservation and livelihoods.