[MARMAM] New publication: Compliance of dolphin ecotours (Lindsay Hooper)

LK H lkh31421 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 1 17:26:18 PDT 2021

Dear MARMAM community,

My coauthors and I are pleased to share our new paper titled, “Compliance
of dolphin ecotours to marine mammal viewing guidelines”.

Hooper, L. K., Tyson Moore, R. B., Boucquey, N., McHugh, K. A., & Fuentes,
M. M. P. B. (2021). Compliance of dolphin ecotours to marine mammal viewing
guidelines. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1-19.

To request a PDF copy of the paper, please contact Lindsay Hooper (
Lkh13 at my.fsu.edu).


Ecotour compliance to viewing guidelines should be evaluated holistically,
considering actual and perceived compliance levels, as well as boat captain
and passenger knowledge of the guidelines. This multi-faceted approach was
used to assess ecotour compliance levels to the NOAA marine mammal viewing
guidelines while interacting with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
in Southwest Florida. Ecotour compliance was assessed via observations of
boat-based dolphin ecotours in 2019. Captain and passenger knowledge and
opinions of the guidelines were obtained through questionnaires, as well as
captains’ perceived compliance and how compliance affected passenger
experience. Ecotour captains violated an average of 44% of the guidelines.
Captains generally knew and supported the guidelines, as well as knew when
they were being noncompliant, with 75% demonstrating equally perceived and
observed compliance levels. This may reflect a lack of understanding of the
cumulative effects of noncompliance on dolphins. Passengers supported the
guidelines and valued compliance but did not have enough knowledge about
the guidelines to recognize captain violations. Most passengers were
willing to pay more for compliant tours, and 84% reported that guideline
violations would negatively affect their trip. Our findings can inform
management and outreach initiatives in the region to increase compliance.

Kind regards,

Lindsay Hooper

M.S. in Biological Oceanography

Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

Phone: (678) 643-2167
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