[MARMAM] New paper : Recommendations for Sustainable Cetacean-Based Tourism in French Territories: A Review on the Industry and Current Management Actions.

Josephine Chazot josephine.chazot at gmail.com
Fri Dec 4 03:59:34 PST 2020

My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the publication of our paper in
Tourism in Marine Environments :

*Recommendations for Sustainable Cetacean-Based Tourism in French
Territories: A Review on the Industry and Current Management Actions.*

Authors : Chazot, J., Hoarau, L., Carzon, P., Wagner, J., Sorby, S., Ratel,
M., & Barcelo, A.

Abstract : Whale-watching activities provide important socioeconomic
benefits for local communities and constitute powerful platform incentives
for marine mammals' protection or more broadly marine environments.
However, these activities can cause adverse effects on targeted
populations, with considerable downside associated risks of injuries and
fatality for whale watchers during inwater interactions. France with its
overseas territories has the second largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ),
in which more than half of existing cetacean species are encountered. In
these territories, recreational and commercial whale watching, including
swim-with cetacean activities, have recently developed. Yet few studies
focused on these activities and their associated impacts across French
territories, leading to an unclear assessment of the situation. To address
this issue, we reviewed cetaceans' occurrence within the French EEZ,
whale-watching industry, targeted species, local management of marine
mammal-based tourism activities, and regulations in France mainland and
some overseas territories (Reunion Island, Mayotte, and French
Polynesia). Forty
Eight species are encountered in the French EEZ, and 15 are targeted by
whale-watching activities. A total of 185 operators, including 34% offering
swim-with-cetaceans tours, offered trips in France and overseas in 2019.
While several more or less restrictive regulations exist locally, our
results indicate that French's national legal framework for marine mammals'
protection remains inadequate and insufficient to cope with the recent
development of this activity. As conservation biologists, managers, and
stakeholders from these French territories, we cooperated to provide
general guidelines for a sustainable development of whale watching at a
national scale. We urge (1) to legally acknowledge and regulate
whale-watching commercial activities; (2) to create a national legal
framework regarding whale watching and swim-with marine mammals practices,
while accounting for local distinctiveness and disparities across regions;
(3) to conduct more research to evaluate local short- and long-term impacts
on targeted marine mammal populations as well as the socioeconomic
benefits; and (4) to reinforce synergetic relations between the different

The paper is available at:

Thank You,
Josephine Chazot
josephine.chazot at gmail.com
06 12 08 57 12
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