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The Conflict Between Fisheries and Cetaceans in Bulgaria’s Black Sea Territorial Waters
Abstract: Conflicts between fisheries and cetaceans exist in many areas around the world, and the Bulgarian territorial waters of the Black Sea are no exception. In Bulgaria, there have been few studies of the conflict’s nature and extent, and the government and local authorities do not have appropriate policies for conflict management. To address this information gap, we conducted interviews from 2012 to 2014 of approximately 50% of the fishermen population using the existing dalyans (the traditional Bulgarian fishing gear). The research objectives were to identify the current fishermen’s attitudes and knowledge about cetaceans, understand the damage caused by local marine mammals to their gear, and hear their proposals to resolve the problems. A specially designed, structured survey was conducted to capture a snapshot of the prevailing situation. The results indicate that dalyan fishermen have some negative attitudes towards cetaceans and that there is poor knowledge among the fishermen of marine mammal natural history. Successful resolution and management of this conflict are essential due to its impact on the Bulgarian fishing industry and for the protection of Black Sea cetaceans. The study recommends measures for better communications and knowledge-sharing with the fishermen, investments in the modernization of fishing methods and tools, and the conducting of systematic research and monitoring activities. Further development of Bulgarian fisheries policies may create financial opportunities for fishermen to acquire repellent devices and apply modern, ecologically safe fishing practices.
Key Words: cetaceans, fisheries, questionnaire, Black Sea, Bulgaria
Page Numbers: 99-110