Research on Relationship between Marine Mammal Ecology and Human

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Human-Animal Interactions, Animal Behaviour and Emotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 3833

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Rakuno Gakuen University, Hokkaido, Japan
Interests: ecology; behavior; stress; dolphins; pinnipeds; aquarium; zoo; companion animals; zoonoses; gut microbiome

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In modern times, global climate has rapidly increased seawater temperature across the world’s oceans. Additionally, marine mammals have changed their ecology in response to fishery stock changes in certain areas. They have wide habitats and migrate not only to hunt fish, but also to breed along the coastlines of many countries. Marine mammals encounter humans in inshore areas, which cause conflicts related mainly to fishery. Some human activities damaged the health of marine mammals. Cetaceans have had their breeding rituals disturbed by artificial noises mainly from ships. Recently, ecotourism in marine mammals has become widely popular, which encourages people to encroach on their habitats. All of these human activities affect not only the habitat range, but also the behavior and ecology of marine mammals. In this review, the human impact on marine mammal ecology will be discussed from a variety of perspectives. The current Special Issue welcomes original manuscripts addressing the relationships between marine mammal ecology and human activities; in particular, research that focuses on fishery–marine mammal conflicts, vessels and/or artificial noises, and ecotourism in the context of marine mammal conservation is desirable, although studies on the relationships between underwater environmental changes and marine mammal ecology are also of potential interest.

Prof. Dr. Takanori Kooriyama
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • marine mammals—dolphins, whales, sea lions, seals, polar bears
  • artificial noises
  • noise from boats and ships
  • conflicts with fishery
  • tourism
  • ecotourism
  • whale watching
  • dolphin swim
  • control/exterminate

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 916 KiB  
Article
Human Impact on the Twenty-Four-Hour Patterns of Steller Sea Lions’ Use of a Haulout in Hokkaido, Japan
by Yuko Chayahara, Yumiko Nakanowataru, Sara Abe, Runa Kurosawa, Sayuki Suma, Nana Murasato, Rin Oyamada, Natsuki Ebashi, Masatoshi Tsunokawa, Mayu Sakurama and Takanori Kooriyama
Animals 2024, 14(9), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14091312 - 27 Apr 2024
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Steller sea lions (SSLs) migrate to the Hokkaido coast to spend the winter there, leading to conflicts arising with fishermen over herring. This study analyzed the trends in the SSLs’ use of a haulout as a rest site under human pressure. From January [...] Read more.
Steller sea lions (SSLs) migrate to the Hokkaido coast to spend the winter there, leading to conflicts arising with fishermen over herring. This study analyzed the trends in the SSLs’ use of a haulout as a rest site under human pressure. From January to March in 2017, 2018, and 2019, we recorded the SSL behavior at the haulout site off Otaru City, Hokkaido, for 24 h a day using a fixed-point video recorder. We investigated three years of data to analyze the relationships between the SSL behaviors (attendance/landing–entry timings/remaining on land) and herring caught. We also monitored the SSL behaviors during changes in weather conditions and under human pressure. Throughout the three years, the SSLs used the haulout site during harsher weather or under human pressure. In 2017 and 2018, there was a correlation between the herring caught and the maximum number of SSLs on the haulout, but not in 2019. The number of SSLs on the haulout increased from evening to night; most individuals entered the water in the morning. The SSLs probably return to the water around sunrise not only for foraging but also to avoid anthropogenic pressure. The damage caused to the herring fishery by the SSLs was severe, but it is also clear that human pressure changed their behavior in response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Relationship between Marine Mammal Ecology and Human)
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18 pages, 2395 KiB  
Article
Vessels Disturb Bottlenose Dolphin Behavior and Movement in an Active Ship Channel
by Eliza M. M. Mills, Sarah Piwetz and Dara N. Orbach
Animals 2023, 13(22), 3441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13223441 - 8 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Although the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, has become a top oil exporter, it is unknown if local dolphins are disturbed by high year-round vessel traffic. A shore-based digital theodolite and automatic identification system receiver were used to record data to assess common [...] Read more.
Although the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, has become a top oil exporter, it is unknown if local dolphins are disturbed by high year-round vessel traffic. A shore-based digital theodolite and automatic identification system receiver were used to record data to assess common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) behavioral states and movement patterns in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC) in relation to vessel traffic. Multinomial logistic regression and generalized additive models were applied to analyze the data. Vessels were present within 300 m of dolphins during 80% of dolphin observations. Dolphins frequently foraged (40%), traveled (24%), socialized (15%), and milled (14%), but rarely oriented against the current (7%) or rested (1% of observations). Season, time of day, group size, vessel type, vessel size, and number of vessels were significant predictors of dolphin behavioral state. Significant predictors of dolphin movement patterns included season, time of day, group size, calf presence, vessel type, and vessel numbers. The CCSC is an important foraging area for dolphins, yet the high level of industrial activity puts the dolphins at risk of human-related disturbance and injury. There is a crucial need to monitor the impact of increased anthropogenic influences on federally protected dolphins in the active CCSC, with broad application to dolphins in other ports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Relationship between Marine Mammal Ecology and Human)
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9 pages, 2747 KiB  
Communication
First Record of Cetacean Killed in an Artisanal Fish Aggregating Device in the Mediterranean Sea
by Valerio Manfrini, Caterina Maria Fortuna and Cristiano Cocumelli
Animals 2023, 13(15), 2524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13152524 - 4 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are anchored floating structures often made with cheap scrapped materials and used to aggregate pelagic fish species under their artificial shadows. Globally, the dangerous impact of FADs is well known. They pose a severe threat as a source of [...] Read more.
Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) are anchored floating structures often made with cheap scrapped materials and used to aggregate pelagic fish species under their artificial shadows. Globally, the dangerous impact of FADs is well known. They pose a severe threat as a source of bycatch, as a danger to navigation, and with their high potential to become marine litter. Unintended entanglement and consequent mortality in FADs of vulnerable (e.g., sharks, sea turtles, and cetaceans) and commercial species is a serious concern for several international inter-governmental bodies (e.g., EU, GFCM, and IWC). This work describes the first case of a cetacean, a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), entangled in a FAD in the Mediterranean Sea. A young male of striped dolphins was found dead along the coast of Lazio (central Tyrrhenian Sea) with its peduncle entangled in typical debris from illegal/artisanal FADs (i.e., a nylon rope, teared gardening plastic sheets, bush branches, and scrapped empty plastic bottles). Although this is the first confirmed case of a cetacean entangled in a FAD in Mediterranean waters, given the extent of the deployment of anchored FADs, the scale of this type of interaction with protected species might be seriously underestimated. Therefore, actions and monitoring need to be implemented urgently to effectively protect and conserve marine biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Relationship between Marine Mammal Ecology and Human)
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