Cetacean research in Senegal 1995-97, an overview


Van Waerebeek, K., Diallo, M., Bjiba, A. and Ndiaye, E.



Secondary Title

Document presented to the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission






Senegal, Sousa teuszii, Atlantic humpback dolphin, Stranding, fisheries, distribution, diversity, Bycatch, Bushmeat, Tursiops truncatus, bottlenose dolphin


Historically Senegal is the West-African nation with the best kept faunistical records for cetaceans. We found verifiable evidence for at least 18 species, but limited life bistory data. Quantified information on interactions with soaring coastal fisheries is wanting. Here we present preliminary results of recent field work in central and central-south Senegal, wbich aim was to help design a long-term research plan with Senegalese scientists, offer training and reinitiate data collecting. With limited monitoring we encountered evidence of dolphin by-catChes but no wide-spread directed dolphin fishery. However the presence of tell-tale conditions including spreading acceptance for consumption of dolphin meat and indications of overexploitation of some fish stocks are known warning signs. Future efforts should cover larger areas and generally be more intensive. Three carcasses of Atlantic hump-hacked dolphin Sousa teuszii found on Sangomar island had rope tied around the tailstock. Fishermen at Djifer and joal-Fadiouth confirmed regular incidental takes and landings. In tbe Sine-Saloum delta, inshore S. teuszii and T. truncatus are probably the most affected species. Senegal’s EEZ waters support large industrial fisheries which may constitute an additional source of by-caught small cetaceans. We here document 21 new specimen records and a series of sigbtings. Dolphins occurring in the Casamance river and upstream in the salt-water canals of tbe Saloum delta are identified as T. truncatus.