Code of Practice for the Sustainable Management of Dugong and Marine Turtle Tourism in Australia

Birtles, Alastair, Curnock, Matthew, Dobbs, Kirstin, Smyth, Dermot, Arnold, Peter, Marsh, Helene, Valentine, Peter, Limpus, Colin, Hyams, William, Dunstan, Andy, Charles, David, Gatley, Cathy, Mangott, Arnold, Miller, Dean, Hodgson, Amanda, Emerick, Samantha, and Kendrick, Alan (2005) Code of Practice for the Sustainable Management of Dugong and Marine Turtle Tourism in Australia. Report. James Cook University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Some of the world's largest remaining populations of dugongs and marine turtles occur in Australia, and six of the world's seven species of marine turtle are found in these waters. Australian populations of dugongs and marine turtle species are under pressure from a wide range of human-related threats. All of these species are classified as threatened, either internationally, nationally or both. As such they are protected under Commonwealth, State and Northern Territory legislation. The opportunity to utilise these animals for commercial tourism comes with the responsibility to ensure that their use is not only sustainable in and of itself, but that such tourism also contributes actively to the conservation of the animals and the habitats on which they depend.

The consultation and involvement of all stakeholder groups in the development and management of marine wildlife tourism is vital to ensuring its sustainability. For coastal Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) societies the sea and coast are part of their traditional estates, for which they have inherited cultural rights of ownership and responsibilities for their management. Best Practice management of dugong and marine turtle tourism must therefore include recognition of this fundamental relationship between Indigenous people and their sea country. Best Practice Guidelines are presented within this Code of Practice to assist managers, tour operators and Traditional Owners engage with each other in a process of equitable negotiation, to ensure sustainable outcomes from the planning and management of dugong and marine turtle tourism in Australia.

This Code of Practice consists of three parts:

1. PART 1 addresses the broader issues for the sustainable management of dugong and turtle tourism, with specific recommendations for implementation by local councils, protected area and wildlife managers and tour operators, with implications for Traditional Owners, researchers, conservation NGO’s, local community members and other stakeholders.

2. PART 2 contains the Best Practice Guidelines for Engaging with Indigenous Traditional Owners in the Planning and Management of Dugong and Turtle Tourism.

3. PART 3 contains specific Codes of Conduct for tours operating in dugong and marine turtle habitat, and for specific types of interactions with these animals (i.e. aircraft, beach-based, vessel-based and in-water interactions). The provisions in these Codes of Conduct should be followed not just by dedicated dugong/turtle commercial tourism operators, but also by all users of beaches and coastal waters of northern Australia, wherever dugongs or marine turtles occur.

Item ID: 24898
Item Type: Report (Report)
Related URLs:
Funders: Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2013 23:52
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 33%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge @ 33%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 34%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism @ 33%
90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9098 Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Services and Tourism > 909899 Environmentally Sustainable Commercial Services and Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 34%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 33%
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