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Managing wildlife-based tourism: Edging slowly towards sustainability?

Higham, J.E.S. and Bejder, L. (2008) Managing wildlife-based tourism: Edging slowly towards sustainability? Current Issues in Tourism, 11 (1). pp. 75-83.

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It is increasingly acknowledged that cetacean-based tourism may not be as low in impact as many hope or presume, and that any long term and systematic human interactions with populations of wild animals need to be rigorously monitored and carefully managed. This paper reviews a series of recent developments in the management of tourist interactions with dolphins at Shark Bay (Western Australia). We argue that collectively these developments represent a paradigmatic shift in the way commercial tourism encounters with dolphins are managed. If so, they represent an important and long overdue advance in the general direction of sustainable management. However, the paper also strikes a note of caution. Shark Bay, a well managed site of relatively low level commercial dolphin-watching activities, carries important insights and austere warnings for the many high-intensity/low visitor management dolphin-tourism sites around the world.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
Publisher: Routledge
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