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Using the Sorensen Network to Assess the Potential Effects of Ecotourism on Two Australian Marine Environments

Mason, S-A and Moore, S.A. (1998) Using the Sorensen Network to Assess the Potential Effects of Ecotourism on Two Australian Marine Environments. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 6 (2). p. 143.

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In the marine environment ecotourism, like any human activity, has effects. Identifying such effects is essential otherwise they cannot be minimised through management. This paper reports on the development and application of the Ecotourism Sorensen Network to identify potential effects of ecotourism activities in two marine environments of northwestern Australia- Ningaloo Reef and surrounds of Legendre Island, part of the Dampier Archipelago. Most of the effects identified could potentially occur in both study areas. More of these potential effects were negative than positive, with most of the latter being sociocultural and economic and the former predominantly biophysical. Those most likely to occur and to be the most significant were negative biophysical effects, especially damage to marine biota,and negative Aboriginal effects. For Ningaloo, overcrowding was also a significant negative effect while at Legendre possible future conflict with the planned industrial port was significant. The Ecotourism Sorensen Network provided a useful mechanism for describing the potential effects of ecotourism activities on marine environments. It also allowed analysis of the similarities and differences in effects between study areas, the likelihood of effects occurring and their significance. This analytic approach could be readily and usefully applied to marine-based ecotourism elsewhere in the world.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Channel View Publications
Copyright: © 1998 S-A. Mason & S.A. Moore
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