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Feeding wild fish for tourism-A systematic quantitative literature review of impacts and management

Patroni, J., Simpson, G. and Newsome, D. (2018) Feeding wild fish for tourism-A systematic quantitative literature review of impacts and management. International Journal of Tourism Research, 20 (3). pp. 286-298.

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Feeding wildlife for the purpose of tourism is a contentious issue with for and against arguments being raised by tour operators, non-governmental organisations, researchers, and managers. Despite this situation, there is a growing trend in the feeding of marine wildlife to guarantee visitors an exciting up-close experience. This review investigates the scope and key findings of research conducted on the impacts and social aspects of tourism related wild fish feeding. This systematic quantitative literature review identified 58 peer-reviewed articles on feeding wild fish for tourism. Of those articles, 35 (60%) reported on ecological impacts on the fish. Only 14 articles explored fish feeding tourism from a social perspective, and of those only 9 (15%) investigated the perspectives of visitors. This review highlights that the impacts and management of complex human-wildlife interactions, such as feeding wild fish, are case and species specific. The impacts of feeding wild fish for tourism include changes in species distribution and behaviour, negative health effects, increased predation of some fish species, and risk of injury to tourists. There is less research on social aspects such as visitor attitudes and satisfaction with fish feeding operations. Further studies are required on visitor demand and interests, and the ecological implications of provisioning to ensure the scenarios in which fish feeding occur are sustainable, maximizing the tourism experience while minimizing negative impacts on fish populations. It is important that progress is made towards developing appropriate codes of conduct and nationally and internationally accredited standards of practice.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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