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  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: April 2014

24 - Save the whales Part II

from Part IV - Sustainable management: insights and issues


If a solution is to speak to a people and not end up as the private answer of a sect, it needs to find roots in their life, language and thought

(Campbell, 1974: 444)


The context for this chapter is the uncontrolled explosive growth of global whale-watching and the failure of widespread sustainable practices. Economic imperatives and environmental marketing have driven the global growth of whale-watching (Neves, 2010). In this chapter I argue that the widespread failure of sustainability is, in part, due to ineffective public communication and poor uptake of science related to impact assessments of whale-watching. The production and traditional scientific dissemination of research alone, while influencing the discourse and development of whale-watching in some contexts, have not been enough to contribute to the long-overdue evolution towards sustainable whale-watching. This chapter calls for the need to raise and address a range of new questions relating to the efficacy of science and the urgent need to improve science communication. New questions need to be asked to address the failure of collaboration between whale-watch stakeholders in order to catch up with the realities of global unsustainable whale-watching practices (Corkeron, 2004; Neves-Graca, 2004; Higham & Bejder, 2008). The current work proposes a new science advocacy communication framework for the whale-watching setting drawing on elements of science communication, media studies, marketing and tourism management. This audiovisual Science Communication Commercial, or SciCommercial for short, presents a potential management tool for the whale-watching industry by advocating sustainable practices to stakeholders, increasing awareness about impacts and managing visitors' expectations.

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