The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts

Ocean and Coastal Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

In recent years there has been significant interest in modelling cumulative effects and the population consequences of individual changes in cetacean behaviour and physiology due to disturbance. One potential source of disturbance that has garnered particular interest is whale-watching. Though perceived as ‘green’ or eco-friendly tourism, there is evidence that whale-watching can result in statistically significant and biologically meaningful changes in cetacean behaviour, raising the question whether whale-watching is in fact a long term sustainable activity. However, an assessment of the impacts of whale-watching on cetaceans requires an understanding of the potential behavioural and physiological effects, data to effectively address the question and suitable modelling techniques. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the viability of long-term whale-watching, as well as logistical limitations and potential opportunities. We conclude that an integrated, coordinated approach will be needed to further understanding of the possible effects of whale-watching on cetaceans.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The modelling and assessment of whale-watching impacts
Series title Ocean and Coastal Management
DOI 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2015.04.006
Volume 115
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier Applied Science
Publisher location Barking, Essex, England
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 7 p.
First page 10
Last page 16
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y