A global review of elasmobranch tourism activities, management and risk

Healy, Teleah Joy, Hill, Nicholas James, Barnett, Adam, and Chin, Andrew (2020) A global review of elasmobranch tourism activities, management and risk. Marine Policy, 118. 103964.

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Elasmobranch tourism is a rapidly expanding global industry. While this industry can provide community and conservation benefits, it presents risks to target species, environments and humans when inappropriately managed. To ensure appropriate management is implemented, there is a need to identify the prevalence of elasmobranch tourism globally, the types of operations occurring and the controls used to mitigate risk. This study undertook a global literature review to develop an industry activity typology and establish the types of management controls present across elasmobranch tourism operations. In total, 151 unique species-activity-location conditions were identified, with four broad activity types categorised: diving, snorkelling, provisioning and cage diving. Spanning 42 countries and 49 different species, 32% of conditions identified lacked evidence of management. Further to this, many of the prevailing management controls in place (e.g. MPAs, shark sanctuaries, protected species status), were secondary in nature, having not been designed or implemented to manage elasmobranch tourism explicitly. Therefore, avoidable risks are likely widespread throughout the industry. Encouragingly, the application of activity specific management controls is likely to be effective at reducing risks across activity types. The theoretical case studies and management tools investigated herein provide operators and industry managers with guidance on how to reduce risk and safeguard industry benefits. With the elasmobranch tourism industry likely to continue expanding, it is important that appropriate management and regulatory frameworks are in place so that marine wildlife tourism can continue in a beneficial and sustainable manner.

Item ID: 63764
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9460
Keywords: Elasmobranch tourism, Marine-tourism management, Risk assessment, Sustainable tourism
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 07:33
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management @ 35%
35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350803 Tourism management @ 35%
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