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Socioeconomic Drivers of Sea Turtle Interactions with Artisanal Fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean Islands

Chris Poonian1 and Tara Whitty2
1Community
2Scripps

Centred Conservation (C3), 17 Northcliffe Drive, London, N20 8JX

Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, California, USA

Preview
• Background
• Methods

• Results: Regional perspective
• Results: Focus on issues in Madagascar • Wider context • Challenges

Background
Bycatch of Sea Turtles in Artisanal Fisheries
• Major threat to sea turtles (e.g., Lewison et al. 2004, Read et al. 2008, Seminoff & Shanker 2008)) •

Artisanal fishery impacts: difficult to quantify/understand

Data particularly sparse from developing nations of Africa and Asia

Bycatch Assessment Interviews
Interviews to collect data on:


• •

LEK/TEK
Threats to marine megafauna Socioeconomic context

Duke University’s “Project GloBAL” • • Moore et al. 2010 Rapid Bycatch Assessments (RBAs)

Western Indian Ocean Islands

Turtles in the WIO

Important nesting & feeding grounds for sea turtles

5 species present : C. mydas, E. imbricata, L. olivacea, C. caretta, D. coriacea

Threats: Past & ongoing exploitation for meat, eggs; loss of nesting sites; bycatch

• •

Artisanal fisheries – vital for coastal communities

Regulations in place to protect sea turtles

Study sites

Interview design and sampling
• 2007-2010 • Structured interviews based on Project GloBAL • Translations & Interview training • Individual interviews: Included species ID guides & maps

• Sampling: Goal of 10%
coverage*

• Site selection:
aimed for geographic

coverage*

Reported capture of sea turtles

Bycatch or targeted?

Gears

Species

Fate of captured sea turtles

Decision-making processes
•N. Madagascar

Reasons for Eat/Sell •Money •Protein •Delicious •Bait
Reasons for Release •Conservation •Don’t like to eat •Don’t like to kill •Don’t know what to do •Fady •No buyers

N. Madagascar – Market values

N. Madagascar – Feelings re: bycatch

Wider context
•Poverty of fishing communities •Decreasing fish yields, increasing human pressure

•Lack of regulation enforcement
•Potential for future education campaigns

Challenges
•Biases in responses •Lack of background census & fisheries data

•Practical constraints on sampling
•What bycatch #s are significant? •What does this mean for extrapolating to make bycatch estimates?

MARAHABA MENJI, MISAOTRA, THANKS!
FUNDING •Comoros: Project GloBAL (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation); Mauritius & Madagascar: Community Centred Conservation (C3) PARTNERS •Comoros: Direction Nationale des Resources Halieutiques; Université des Comores; HUPPE •Mauritius: University of Mauritius •Madagascar: University of Antsiranana; Madagascar National Parks; Centre National de Recherches Océanographiques

FOR MORE INFORMATION www.c-3.org.uk