Skip to main content
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: April 2014

25 - Time to rethink

from Part IV - Sustainable management: insights and issues

This book addresses human interactions with cetaceans in the wild, at the heart of which lies the considerable challenge of sustainable management. The urgency of this subject arises from spectacular growth in demand and widespread evidence of unsustainable management of tourist interactions with cetaceans. The foregoing chapters serve to highlight the complex interplay of the macro- (global), meso- (national/regional) and micro-level (local/site-specific) policy, planning and management settings. The dynamic nature of these contexts combined with the urgent need for integrated and adaptive management approaches are most evident (Higham et al., 2009). Given the current failing of the long-term sustainable management of many whale-watching activities, a new whale-watching paradigm is clearly required (Lusseau et al., 2013). Any such paradigm must be informed by change at three spatial scales of analysis (Higham et al., 2009.

While attending to the management of tourist interactions with cetaceans, it is necessary to understand the policy, planning and management inputs which take place at the macro- (global), meso- (national) and micro (local–regional) levels at specific sites in different parts of the world (Figure 25.1). The macro-level context is characterized by growing concerns for declining levels of global biodiversity and the increasing instability of complex ecosystems (Tilman, 1999; Worm et al., 2009). In the special case of the large whales, we are not talking about recent human activities degrading an otherwise pristine system.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

  • Online ISBN: 9781139018166
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
References (2006). Whale shot in front of tourists. 5 July 2006. Retrieved from: (accessed 27 November 2009).
Allen, S., Smith, H., Waples, K. & Harcourt, R. (2007). The voluntary code of conduct for dolphin watching in Port Stephens, Australia: Is self-regulation an effective management tool?Journal of Cetacean Research & Management 9, 159–166.
Ashe, E., Noren, D.P. & Williams, R. (2010). Animal behaviour and marine protected areas: Incorporating behavioural data into the selection of marine protected areas for an endangered killer whale population. Animal Conservation 13, 196–203.
Au, W.W.L. & Green, M. (2000). Acoustic interaction of humpback whales and whale-watching boats. Marine Environmental Research 49, 469–481.
Bailey, J.L. (2012). Whale-watching, the Buenos Aires Group and the politics of the International Whaling Commission. Marine Policy 36, 489–494.
Baker, C.S. & Herman, L.M. (1989). Behavioral responses of summering humpback whales to vessel traffic: Experimental and opportunistic observations. Technical report NPS-NR-TRS89-01. Anchorage, AK: National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office.
Beale, C.M. & Monaghan, P. (2004). Behavioural responses to human disturbance: A matter of choice? Animal Behaviour 68, 1065–1069.
Bearzi, G. (2003). At home with the dolphins. In Frohoff, T. & Peterson, B. (Eds), Between Species: Celebrating the dolphin–human bond. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books, pp. 104–109.
Bejder, L., Dawson, S.M. & Harraway, J.A. (1999). Responses by Hector's dolphins to boats and swimmers in Porpoise Bay, New Zealand. Marine Mammal Science 15, 738–750.
Bejder, L., Samuels, A., Whitehead, H., et al. (2006). Decline in relative abundance of bottlenose dolphins exposed to long-term disturbance. Conservation Biology 20, 1791–1798.
Bejder, L., Samuels, A., Whitehead, H., Finn, H. & Allen, S. (2009). Impact assessment research: Use and misuse of habituation, sensitisation and tolerance to describe wildlife responses to anthropogenic stimuli. Marine Ecology Progress Series 395, 177–185.
Boye, T.K., Simon, M. & Madsen, P.T. (2010). Habitat use of humpback whales in Godthaabsfjord, West Greenland, with implications for commercial exploitation. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 90(8), 1529–1538.
Constantine, R. (2001). Increased avoidance of swimmers by wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) due to long-term exposure to swim-with-dolphin tourism. Marine Mammal Science 17(4), 689–702.
Corkeron, P.J. (2004). Whalewatching, iconography, and marine conservation. Conservation Biology 18, 847–849.
Duffus, D.A. & Dearden, P. (1990). Non-consumptive wildlife-oriented recreation: A conceptual framework. Biological Conservation 53(3), 213–231.
Ellenberg, U., Mattern, T., Seddon, P.J. & Jorquera, G.L. (2006). Physiological and reproductive consequences of human disturbance in Humboldt penguins: The need for species-specific visitor management. Biological Conservation 133(1), 95–106.
Foote, A.D., Osborne, R.W. & Hoelzel, A.R. (2004). Whale-call response to masking boat noise. Nature 428, 910.
Frid, A. & Dill, L. (2002). Human-caused disturbance stimuli as a form of predation risk. Conservation Ecology 6, 11–26.
Garrod, B. & Fennell, D.A. (2004). An analysis of whale-watching codes of conduct. Annals of Tourism Research 31(2), 334–352.
Gilders, M.A. (1995). Reflections of a Whale-Watcher. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Gill, J.A., Norris, K. & Sutherland, W.J. (2001). Why behavioural responses may not reflect the population consequences of human disturbance. Biological Conservation 97, 265–268.
Gjerdalen, G. & Williams, P. (2000). An evaluation of the utility of a whale watching code of conduct. Tourism Recreation Research 25(2), 27–37.
Gössling, S. & Hall, C.M. (Eds). (2006). Tourism and Global Environmental Change. Ecological, social, economic and political interrelationships. London: Routledge.
Guba, E.G. (1990). The alternative paradigm dialog. In Guba, E.G. (Ed.), The paradigm dialog. London: Sage, pp. 17–27.
Hall, C.M. & Boyd, S. (2003). Ecotourism in Peripheral Areas. Clevedon, UK: Channel View Publications.
Hastie, G.D., Wilson, B., Tufft, L.H. & Thompson, P.M. (2003). Bottlenose dolphins increase breathing synchrony in response to boat traffic. Marine Mammal Science 19, 74–84.
Higham, J.E.S. & Bejder, L. (2008). Managing wildlife-based tourism: Edging slowly towards sustainability? Current Issues in Tourism 11(1), 63–74.
Higham, J.E.S. & Lusseau, D. (2004). Ecological impacts and management of tourist engagements with cetaceans. In Buckley, R. (Ed.), Environmental Impacts of Ecotourism. Wallingford: CAB International.
Higham, J.E.S. & Lusseau, D. (2007). Urgent need for empirical research into whaling and whale-watching. Conservation Biology 21(2), 554–558.
Higham, J.E.S. & Lusseau, D. (2008). Slaughtering the goose that lays the golden egg: Are whaling and whale-watching mutually exclusive? Current Issues in Tourism 11(1), 63–74.
Higham, J.E.S. & Shelton, E. (2011). Tourism and wildlife habituation: Reduced population fitness or cessation of impact? Tourism Management 32(4), 1290–1298.
Higham, J.E.S., Bejder, L. & Lusseau, D. (2009). An integrated and adaptive management model to address the long-term sustainability of tourist interactions with cetaceans. Environmental Conservation 35, 294–302.
Hinch, T.D. (1998). Ecotourists and indigenous hosts: Diverging views on their relationship with nature. Current Issues in Tourism 1(1), 120–124.
Hoffman, M., Brooks, T.M., de Fonseca, G.A.B., et al. (2008). Conservation planning and the IUCN Red List. Endangered Species Research 6, 113–125.
Hooker, S.K. & Gerber, L.R. (2004). Marine reserves as a tool for ecosystem-based management: The potential importance of megafauna. Bioscience 54, 27–39.
Hoyt, E. (2011). Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises (2nd edn). London: Earthscan.
Jett, J.S. & Thapa, B. (2010). Manatee zone compliance among boaters in Florida. Coastal Management 38, 165–185.
Knight, J. (2009). Making wildlife viewable: Habituation and attraction. Society and Animals 17, 167–184.
Lemelin, R.H. (2006). The gawk, the glance, and the gaze: Ocular consumption and polar bear tourism in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Current Issues in Tourism 9(6), 516–534.
Levine, H.B. & Levine, M.W. (1987). Steward Island: Anthropological perspectives on a New Zealand fishing community. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington.
Lück, M. (2003). Environmentalism and on tour experiences on wildlife watch tours in New Zealand: A study of visitors watching and/or swimming with dolphins. PhD Thesis, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Lusseau, D. (2003). Male and female bottlenose dolphins Tursiops sp. have different strategies to avoid interactions with tour boats in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Marine Ecology Progress Series 257, 267–274.
Lusseau, D. (2005). The residency pattern of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) in Milford Sound, New Zealand is related to boat traffic. Marine Ecology Progress Series 295, 265–272.
Lusseau, D. (2006). The short-term behavioral reactions of bottlenose dolphins to interactions with boats in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Marine Mammal Science 22, 802–818.
Lusseau, D. & Higham, J.E.S. (2004). Managing the impacts of dolphin-based tourism through the definition of critical habitats: The case of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.) in Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Tourism Management 25(5), 657–667.
Lusseau, D., Slooten, E. & Currey, R.J.C. (2006). Unsustainable dolphin-watching tourism in fiordland, New Zealand. Tourism in Marine Environments 3, 173–178.
Lusseau, D., Bejder, L., Corkeron, P., Allen, S. & Higham, J.E.S. (2013). Learning from past mistakes: A new paradigm for managing whale-watching. Conservation Letters (under review).
Milne, S. & Ateljevic, I. (2004). Tourism economic development and the global–local nexus. In Williams, S. (Ed.), Tourism: Critical concepts in the social sciences. New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 81–103.
Muloin, S. (1998). Wildlife tourism: The psychological benefits of whale-watching. Pacific Tourism Review 2, 199–213.
Mustika, P.L.K., Birtles, A., Everingham, Y. & Marsh, H. (2012). The human dimensions of wildlife tourism in a developing country: Watching spinner dolphins at Lovina, Bali, Indonesia. Journal of Sustinable Tourism 20(2), 1–23.
Neves, K. (2010). Cashing in on cetourism: A critical ecological engagement with dominant E-NGO discourses on whaling, cetacean conservation, and whale watching. Antipode 42(3), 719–741.
Nowacek, S.M., Wells, R.S. & Solow, A.R. (2001). Short-term effects of boat traffic on bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Marine Mammal Science 17, 673–688.
Ris, M. (1993). Conflicting cultural values: Whale tourism in Northern Norway. Arctic 46(2), 156–163.
Sawada, H. & Minami, H. (1997). Peer group play and co-childrearing in Japan: A historical ethnography of a fishing community. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 18(4), 513–526.
Servais, V. (2005). Enchanting dolphins: An analysis of human–dolphin encounters. In Knight, J. (Ed.), Animals in Person: Cultural perspectives on human–animal intimacies. Oxford: Berg, pp. 21–229.
Shelton, E.J. & McKinlay, B. (2007). Shooting fish in a barrel: Tourists as easy targets. In Higham, J.E.S. & Lück, M. (Eds), Marine Wildlife and Tourism Management: Insights from the natural and social sciences. Wallingford: CABI, pp. 219–231.
Spong, P. & Symonds, H. (2003). The ocean's chalk circle. In Frohoff, T. & Peterson, B. (Eds.), Between Species: Celebrating the dolphin–human bond. San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books, pp. 311–321.
Tilman, D. (1999). The ecological consequences of changes in biodiversity: A search for general principles. Ecology 80(5), 1455–1474.
Van Parijs, S.M. & Corkeron, P.J. (2001). Boat traffic affects the acoustic behaviour of Pacific humpback dolphins, Sousa chinensis. Journal of the Marine Association UK 81, 533–538.
Williams, R., Trites, A.W. & Bain, D.E. (2002). Behavioural responses of killer whales (Orcinus orca) to whale-watching boats: Opportunistic observations and experimental approaches. Journal of Zoology 256, 255–270.
Williams, R., Lusseau, D. & Hammond, P. (2006). Estimating relative energetic costs of human disturbance to killer whales (Orcinus orca). Biological Conservation 133(3), 301–311.
Williams, R., Lusseau, D. & Hammond, P. (2009). The role of social aggregations and protected areas in killer whale conservation: The mixed blessing of critical habitat. Biological Conservation 142, 709–719.
Wilson, B., Reid, R.J., Grellier, K. & Thompson, P. (2004). Considering the temporal when managing the spatial: A population range expansion impacts protected areas-based management for bottlenose dolphins. Animal Conservation 7, 331–338.
Worm, B., Hilborn, R., Baum, J.K., et al. (2009). Rebuilding global fisheries. Science 325, 578–585.