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Fisheries interaction data suggest variations in the distribution of sperm whales on the Kerguelen Plateau


Tixier, P and Welsford, D and Lea, M-A and Hindell, MA and Guinet, C and Janc, A and Richard, G and Gasco, N and Duhamel, G and Arangio, R and Villanueva, MC and Suberg, L and Arnould, JPY, Fisheries interaction data suggest variations in the distribution of sperm whales on the Kerguelen Plateau, The Kerguelen Plateau: marine ecosystem and fisheries. Proceedings of the Second Symposium, 13-14 November 2017, Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 259-270. ISBN 9781876934309 (2019) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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Copyright 2017 The Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Antarctic Division

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The emergence of longline fishing for Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) on the Kerguelen Plateau over the past two decades is concomitant with the development of depredation-type interactions by sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Through a unique collaboration between the French and the Australian fisheries operating respectively around Kerguelen, and Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI), this study preliminarily investigated the spatio–temporal variations of the rate of occurrence of sperm whale depredation on the Kerguelen Plateau. Between 2011 and 2016, sperm whales depredated toothfish on 29.1% of all longline sets and over 49.4% of the fished area. The probability of vessels to experience depredation decreased with the latitude and decreased in winter. Vessels operating in Kerguelen experienced significantly higher rates of occurrence of sperm whale depredation (33.2 ± 4.5% of sets; 48.2 ± 7.2% of the area) than vessels operating in HIMI (3.1 ± 1.2% of sets; 5.4 ± 2.0% of the area) over the 2011–2016 period, but also during any season of the year. The results suggested that heterogeneity in the distribution of sperm whales is likely a key driver of depredation. The Kerguelen Plateau fisheries represent a unique opportunity to investigate the spatial factors influencing this distribution, and therefore to predict the occurrence of depredation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:fisheries interactions, sperm whale, Patagonian toothfish, Kerguelen, depredation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Population ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Lea, M-A (Professor Mary-Anne Lea)
UTAS Author:Hindell, MA (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:135125
Year Published:2019
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP160100329)
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2019-10-01
Last Modified:2020-01-10
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