La Rochelle, France (7 jours/7)



The Delmoges project (DELphinus MOuvements GEStion) is a collaborative project led by La Rochelle University/CNRS and Ifremer, in partnership with the University of Western Brittany (UBO) and the National Committee for Maritime Fisheries and Marine Farming (CNPMEM). This project was launched in March 2022 for 3 years. It aims to understand the mechanisms leading to non-intentional captures of common dolphins in the Bay of Biscay. It is financed by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, by the DGAMPA and by France Filière Pêche.



Since the 1990s, France has regularly experienced episodes of significant dolphin mortality in the Bay of Biscay in winter. On the Atlantic coast, since 2016, these strandings have reached unprecedented levels and are mainly due to accidental captures in fishing gear. Estimated at several thousand dolphins per year, the current rate of mortality due to accidental captures could, in the long term, threaten the population of common dolphins in the North East Atlantic. But knowledge is still too incomplete to understand the environmental and human factors (such as climate change or the decrease in the size of the dolphin favorite preys) behind these catches and their increase.


In this context, the Delmoges project aims to:

  • provide new ecological and fisheries knowledge to better understand the increase of the non-intentional captures of dolphins;
  • identify sustainable solutions from a biological and socio-economic point of view, to reduce the negative impacts on marine biodiversity and commercial fishing.

The Delmoges project aims to bring together exploitation and conservation, thanks to a multidisciplinary approach: by placing dolphins back in their ecosystem, by identifying the mechanisms of interaction between dolphins, fishery resources and fishing gear, and by proposing remedial actions.

At La Rochelle University, the project is positioned within the LUDI Institute that brings together four units, three of them mixed with the CNRS: Pelagis, LIENSs, CEBC, CEREGE.

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