Behavioural Responses of Common Dolphins Delphinus delphis to a Bio-Inspired Acoustic Device for Limiting Fishery By-Catch - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Sustainability Year : 2022

Behavioural Responses of Common Dolphins Delphinus delphis to a Bio-Inspired Acoustic Device for Limiting Fishery By-Catch

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Abstract

By-catch is the most direct threat to marine mammals globally. Acoustic repellent devices (pingers) have been developed to reduce dolphin by-catch. However, mixed results regarding their efficiency have been reported. Here, we present a new bio-inspired acoustic beacon, emitting returning echoes from the echolocation clicks of a common dolphin ‘Delphinus delphis’ from a fishing net, to inform dolphins of its presence. Using surface visual observations and the automatic detection of echolocation clicks, buzzes, burst-pulses and whistles, we assessed wild dolphins’ behavioural responses during sequential experiments (i.e., before, during and after the beacon’s emission), with or without setting a net. When the device was activated, the mean number of echolocation clicks and whistling time of dolphins significantly increased by a factor of 2.46 and 3.38, respectively (p < 0.01). Visual surface observations showed attentive behaviours of dolphins, which kept a distance of several metres away from the emission source before calmly leaving. No differences were observed among sequences for buzzes/burst-pulses. Our results highlight that this prototype led common dolphins to echolocate more and communicate differently, and it would favour net detection. Complementary tests of the device during the fishing activities of professional fishermen should further contribute to assessment of its efficiency.
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hal-03820889 , version 1 (21-10-2022)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Loïc Lehnhoff, Hervé Glotin, Serge Bernard, Willy Dabin, Yves Le Gall, et al.. Behavioural Responses of Common Dolphins Delphinus delphis to a Bio-Inspired Acoustic Device for Limiting Fishery By-Catch. Sustainability, 2022, 14 (20), pp.13186. ⟨10.3390/su142013186⟩. ⟨hal-03820889⟩
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