Vanessa Jaiteh

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Honours Student

Project Description:
I am examining interactions between common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and trawl nets in the Pilbara Finfish Trawl Interim Managed Fishery (PFTIMF) through review and analyses of video footage taken inside trawl nets. As these interactions are frequent and potentially dangerous to dolphins, the primary research aim is to evaluate the efficacy of different exclusion devices (grids and escape hatches) in reducing dolphin bycatch. A secondary aim of this project will be to quantify dolphin behaviour as they interact with the trawl nets for foraging and socialising opportunities. This will inform a best practice management approach to the mitigation of fishing-related mortality of dolphins and other threatened species in the PFTIMF.

Academic Record
2006-2008: James Cook University – Townsville, Bachelor of Science, Major in Marine Biology

Thesis Title: An Assessment of Dolphin Behaviour and Bycatch Mitigation Techniques in the Pilbara Finfish Trawl Fishery, Western Australia

Employment History

      2007-08: Visitor Services Officer, Reef Guide, Functions supervisor and Casual diver at ReefHQ (Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority).

2006-07: Freelance translator

2006: Snorkel guide & translator on the day-trip boat “Reef Magic”, based in Cairns.

Voluntary Work

      2007 – 2008: Volunteer in the Minke Whale Project at JCU Townsville. Data entry, photo identification, qualitative analysis of passenger questionnaires, data collection in the field. Chief Investigators: Prof. Alastair Birtles and Prof. Helene Marsh.

2008: Volunteer in a project concerned with the effects of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on abundance, diversity and spillover of various fish species in Green Zones around Great Keppel Island, GBR. Involved in catching, handling and tagging fish at sea, taking DNA samples, injecting barium isotope solutions according to weight, work in collaboration with commercial and recreational fishermen, and data entry. Chief Investigators: Prof. Garry Russ and Prof. Geoff Jones (JCU)

2008: Wildlife Carer, North Queensland Wildlife Carers Inc. (Wallabies & Flying Foxes)

2008: Volunteer for the Sea Turtle Foundation, Townsville (Beach clean-ups, nest monitoring)

2006: Volunteer in a fresh water turtle PhD project, JCU Townsville. Involved in catching, examining, sexing and tagging turtles, and preparation of traps.

Publications
Peer Reviewed

*Jaiteh, V.F., Allen, S.J., Meeuwig, J.J. and Loneragan, N.R. 2012. Subsurface behaviour of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) interacting with fish trawl nets in north-western Australia. Marine Mammal Science DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00620.x

Contact
Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU)
Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Faculty of Sustainability, Environmental and Life Sciences
Murdoch University
South Street, Murdoch, 6150
Western Australia

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