New book is critical of whale-watching cruises

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Popular whale- and dolphin-watching cruises might not be the low-impact, sustainable industries many believe them to be, according to a new book.

“Whale-Watching: Sustainable Tourism and Ecological Management” critically explores the issues associated with the sustainable management of whale watching, highlighting the spectacular growth in demand for tourist interactions with cetaceans in the wild and the challenge of effective policy, planning and management.

“Whale watching has developed very quickly around the world and has been strongly advocated by non-governmental organizations, governments and tourism development agencies, which highlight the assumed sustainability of ‘non-consumptive’ enterprises. This book really puts the spotlight on that,” co-editor Prof. James Higham, of New Zealand’s University of Otago, said in a report at The Maritime Executive website.

As the industry has grown, animal populations have come under more and more pressure “and the ‘non-consumptive’ nature of whale watching has been drawn into question,” Higham said.

Click here for the full report.

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