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Governance potential for cetacean bycatch mitigation in small-scale fisheries: A comparative assessment of four sites in Southeast Asia

TitleGovernance potential for cetacean bycatch mitigation in small-scale fisheries: A comparative assessment of four sites in Southeast Asia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsWhitty T.S
JournalApplied Geography
Date Published2015/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0143-6228
Accession NumberWOS:000352664100015
KeywordsBridging organization; bycatch; challenges; comanagement; Community engagement; Governance; Irrawaddy dolphin; management; Marine mammal; philippines; small-scale fisheries; success; thailand; trends

Bycatch of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) in small-scale fisheries is a major global conservation threat. Mitigating bycatch is a fisheries management issue. However, investigation of the governance context of bycatch has been limited. Much-needed progress in bycatch mitigation requires integration of governance assessment in bycatch-related studies. This project assesses "conservation-relevant elements" of local governance institutions and activities that are involved in coastal and aquatic resource management (CARM) and considered important to bycatch mitigation. Research focused on four sites in Southeast Asia with small-scale fisheries bycatch of Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris): Trat, Thailand; Mahakam River, Indonesia; and Malampaya Sound and Guimaras and Iloilo Straits, Philippines. Using key informant and household surveys, this project examines the extent to which conservation-relevant governance elements are active and effective in CARM, contribute to enforcement, coordinate across institutions, and engage communities. These attributes varied across sites, holding potentially significant implications for the feasibility and process of bycatch mitigation. The role of bridging organizations appears to be vital in CARM activities and current bycatch mitigation efforts, but involvement of local communities and support from external institutions are also necessary for sustained and impactful management. Insights derived from approaches such as that used here can hold lessons beyond Southeast Asia in terms of research methods (i.e., how to incorporate interdisciplinary approaches into bycatch studies), findings (i.e., what governance elements might be most conducive to bycatch mitigation), and setting priorities for conservation (i.e., at what sites is mitigation most feasible, and how can governance capacity for mitigation be enhanced). (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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