Conservation of the Eastern Taiwan Strait Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis): Fishers' Perspectives and Management Implications

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Abstract

The abundance of the eastern Taiwan Strait (ETS) population of the Chinese white dolphin (Sousa chinensis) has been estimated to be less than 100 individuals. It is categorized as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Thus, immediate measures of conservation should be taken to protect it from extinction. Currently, the Taiwanese government plans to designate its habitat as a Major Wildlife Habitat (MWH), a type of marine protected area (MPA) for conservation of wildlife species. Although the designation allows continuing the current exploitation, however, it may cause conflicts among multiple stakeholders with competing interests. The study is to explore the attitude and opinions among the stakeholders in order to better manage the MPA. This study employs a semistructured interview and a questionnaire survey of local fishers. Results from interviews indicated that the subsistence of fishers remains a major problem. It was found that stakeholders have different perceptions of the fishers' attitude towards conservation and also thought that the fishery-related law enforcement could be difficult. Quantitative survey showed that fishers are generally positive towards the conservation of the Chinese white dolphin but are less willing to participate in the planning process. Most fishers considered temporary fishing closure as feasible for conservation. The results of this study provide recommendations for future efforts towards the goal of better conservation for this endangered species.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161321
JournalPloS one
Volume11
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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