La Rochelle, France (7 jours/7)

Hélène Peltier

Fishing and dolphins

Since my first steps at Pelagis in 2006 as a small Master trainee, it has always been a question of trying to understand what cetacean strandings had to tell us. Using a model to predict the drift of stranded animals, I have tried to identify their area of origin, their representativeness, to understand and describe the processes that lead to a stranding.

Several thousand drift simulations later, I joined Pelagis for a thesis in 2008 and I set down my suitcases there in 2012.
Since then, my research questions have focused on the causes of cetacean mortality, with the issue of dolphin catches in fishing gear taking up most of my time. The accurate drift model is now at the heart of dolphin catch estimates, mortality areas, and the identification of the fisheries involved. In contact with many actors, I learn day after day about fishing and its practices.

Involved in several national or European research programmes on cetacean catches, I also take part in the national working group on dolphin catches. I am the French delegate to the ICES expert group on catches of protected species, a member of the ASCOBANS/ACCOBAMS joint group on catches, participates in the calculation of catch indicators for the DCSMM.
When the need arises, I go and help the “Strandings” team to examine stranded dolphins. I also take to the open sea by embarking on the Megascope campaigns on IFREMER boats for the census of marine megafauna.
Finally, I am in charge of the public dissemination of the observatory’s data.

Research engineer in charge of scientific analysis and valuation work on the causes of cetacean mortality, and more specifically on cetacean catches in fishing gear.
UMS 3462 La Rochelle University-CNRS / Adera
Tel +33 (0) 5 46 50 76 83