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Swimming with wild cetaceans, with a special focus on the Southern Hemisphere

Samuels, A., Bejder, L., Constantine, R. and Heinrich, S. (2003) Swimming with wild cetaceans, with a special focus on the Southern Hemisphere. In: Gales, N., Hindell, M. and Kirkwood, R., (eds.) Marine mammals: fisheries, tourism and management issues. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, pp. 277-303.

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Swimming with free-ranging cetaceans is increasing in popularity (Hoyt 2001) but the scope of these activities and the effects on animals are not well known. Here we present a review of tis form of nature-based tourism to determine that is known about effects on the animals’ behaviour and well-being, to provide a body of scientific literature to inform management decisions, and to emphasise where gaps in information exist. This chapter is based upon a review of the literature pertaining to swimming with cetaceans in US waters (Samuels et al. 2000) that was commissioned by US regulatory agencies to assist in the formulation of national policy (NMFS 2002). The present chapter is updated and more comprehensive, being a synthesis of reports about swim-with tourism from around the world. In particular, we highlight and discuss information from the Southern Hemisphere where this tourism is widespread and proliferating. Analysis of ‘swim-with’ tourism in the Southern Hemisphere is an expedient and advantageous way to obtain an overview of current knowledge, research and management practices pertinent to swimming with wild cetaceans worldwide.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
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