Are time/area closures the solution for the long-term sustainability of spinner dolphin tourism in Hawaiian waters?
Bejder, L. (2009) Are time/area closures the solution for the long-term sustainability of spinner dolphin tourism in Hawaiian waters? In: First International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, 30 March - 3 April, Maui, Hawai'i.
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Research is showing that cetacean-oriented tourism (boat-based and swim-with) can have biologically significant impacts on dolphin communities. Repeated exposure to whale watching vessel traffic can compromise the fitness of individual dolphins, creating the potential for population-level effects. Spinner dolphins in Hawai‘i have a predictable daily movement pattern: they forage offshore at night and return to sheltered bays to rest during daytime. This set pattern renders them particularly vulnerable to disturbance, given the limited availability of sheltered waters to rest, socialize, and avoid predators. Considering the documented effects of tourism on dolphins in locations where tourism pressure is substantially less, it is likely that tourism is having an impact on spinner dolphins in Hawai‘i. Out of concern that this is the case, the Pacific Islands Regional Office of NOAA Fisheries, in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, is developing a management plan to reduce the exposure of resting spinner dolphins to human activity in Hawaiian waters. One potential approach would focus on time/area closures of specific bays to reduce the number and intensity of interactions between humans and dolphins during critical rest periods.
|Publication Type:||Conference Paper|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research|
|Notes:||In: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas. Randall R. Reeves (ed) Maui, Hawai'i, 30 March - 3 April 2009, pp 46-47|
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