Records of Guiana dolphin, <i>Sotalia guianensis</i>, in the State of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil


  • A. C. O. Meirelles
  • A. C. Ribeiro
  • C. P. N. Silva
  • A. A. Soares-Filho



The Guiana dolphin, Sotalia guianensis, is a small delphinid found in costal waters, estuaries and bays from Santa Catarina, Brazil, to Nicaragua. Strandings of Guiana dolphins were recorded systematically and opportunistically in the coast of Ceará (~02-04°S), northeastern Brazil, from 1992 to 2005. A total of 160 single events were documented. The number of records was higher in Fortaleza Metropolitan Region than in other three surveyed areas, probably due to a more intensive survey effort. More strandings were recorded during austral winter and spring. The majority of stranded animals were adults (48.8%). Calves were not commonly recovered and no seasonality in the strandings of calves was observed. Overall body length ranged from 95 to 208cm for females and from 85 to 210cm for males. A total of 49 animals (30.6%) showed evidence of fishery interactions such as net marks and cuts. Of these, we confirmed through fisherman information the incidental catch of 13 dolphins by driftnet (n = 8), surface gillnet (n = 3) and beach seine (n = 2). Twenty three percent of all stranded animals showed evidences of other human interactions, like meat or fins removed, eyes removed and rostrum extracted. According to the results, Guiana dolphin strandings occurred year-round in all zones along the coast of Ceará. The incidental bycatch in fishing nets may have a negative impact on the dolphin population. The study reveals that a long-term systematic monitoring of artisanal fishing communities is necessary to evaluate the extent of the impact on the species.