ACTA Theriologica Sinica

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Review on cetacean remote biopsy sampling and its application prospects in China

LIU Mingzhong, LI Kuan, ZHANG Peijun,LI Songhai   

  1. (1 Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sanya 572000, China)
    (2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China)
  • Online:2018-11-30 Published:2018-11-26


刘明中 李款 张培君 李松海   

  1. (1中国科学院深海科学与工程研究所,三亚572000)
  • 通讯作者: 李松海;张培君

Abstract: Cetaceans are top predators in the marine food chain; they are of great interest to scientists in studies relating to marine environmental protection worldwide. It is normally very hard for scientists to access wild cetaceans. To conduct research into wild cetaceans without threatening their lives, a remote biopsy sampling (RBS) method was devised. The first RBS system was developed from a cetacean harpoon in 1973. Since then, cetacean RBS systems have been improved in the sequence “Harpoon-Crossbow-Compound bow-Air gun-Pole”. During this course of development, the invasiveness of the RBS system in the animals has been a core issue of concern for scientists. Therefore, many studies have been conducted to evaluate the effect of RBS systems on cetaceans, and RBS was finally concluded to be a non-invasive method. It has thus has become a popular and important method for wild cetacean sample collection in many parts of the world. There are abundant cetacean resources in China. However, the RBS method is seldom used in Chinese wild cetacean research; only one such RBS attempt has been reported, on the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) in Hong Kong waters. Therefore, there is great potential for the application and development of RBS tools for use in cetacean studies in China. In the present study, we first briefly introduce the history of RBS development and its application in cetacean research worldwide, and then document the potential value of this method in cetacean research in China. Finally, we assess the future prospects of Chinese cetacean studies for genetics, toxicology, cytology and reproductive endocrinology.

Key words: Marine mammals, Biopsy sampling, Animal conservation, Noninvasiveness


鲸类位于海洋生态系统食物链的顶端,在国际海洋环境保护研究中备受关注。鲸类的生活环境使得科研人员难以接近它们,为了在保证动物生命安全的前提下进行采样研究,科研人员发明了鲸类远距离活体采样技术。鲸类远距离活体采样工具出现于1973年,由捕鲸鱼叉改制而来,其后40余年,鲸类活体采样工具先后经历了捕鲸鱼叉、十字弓、复合弓、气枪、手持杆等多种不同动力的采样系统交替出现的发展历程。活体采样技术对动物的影响是科研人员关注的核心问题,为此,科研人员开展了大量研究对活体采样技术的风险性进行评价,并最终认可了这一技术的无损伤性。现今,鲸类远距离活体采样技术已成为国际鲸类研究的重要手段。我国是鲸类资源相对丰富的国家,但该技术在我国鲸类研究中的应用仍处于起步阶段,仅在香港海域的中华白海豚(Sousa chinensis)研究中进行过尝试,鲸

关键词: 海洋哺乳动物, 活体采样, 动物保护, 无损伤性