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Humpback dolphins (Genus Sousa) in India: An overview of status and conservation issues
Sutaria, D.; Panicker, D.; Jog, K.; Sule, M.; Muralidharan, R.; Bopardikar, I. (2015). Humpback dolphins (Genus Sousa) in India: An overview of status and conservation issues. Adv. Mar. Biol. 72: 229-256. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/bs.amb.2015.08.006
In: Advances in Marine Biology. Academic Press: London,New York,. ISSN 0065-2881, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Conservation; Development; Habitat; Perception; Research; Taxonomy; Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765) [WoRMS]; Sousa plumbea (G. Cuvier, 1829) [WoRMS]; India [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Community network; Dolphin-watching tourism

Authors  Top 
  • Sutaria, D.
  • Panicker, D.
  • Jog, K.
  • Sule, M.
  • Muralidharan, R.
  • Bopardikar, I.

Abstract
    This chapter aims to collate recent work done by different research teams along the Indian coast and presents research plans for the conservation and management of the genus Sousa in Indian waters. Humpback dolphins are the most common nearshore cetaceans found along the Indian coast. The taxonomy is confused, but two or more species of humpback dolphins may be present in India. Dedicated research on humpback dolphins and other cetaceans has been initiated only in the past few years and vast gaps in the ecology and conservation of the genus from the region remain. Dedicated and opportunistic research indicates that humpback dolphin presence is continuous along the west coast of India, owing to the contiguous favourable habitat of shallow nearshore waters, while along the east coast humpback dolphins are apparently found in pockets. Humpback dolphins are also the most numerous in incidental catch records from the coast, owing to the large overlap in space use with nearshore fisheries like small gillnets, trawls, shore seines and purse seines. Along many coastal sites, humpback dolphins are known to cause damage and depredation of fish catch of certain fishing gears, making them unpopular. At the same time, many fishers along the west coast have developed local dolphin-watching programmes as an alternate source of livelihood, providing positive impetus for conservation. However, research on the long-term effects of dolphin watching and its management is required. Some recommendations for more effective management of this species are made.

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