[MARMAM] New publication: Lessons from research and management of cetacean tourism in New Zealand

Marta Guerra martaguerra87 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 12:09:33 PST 2021

Dear MARMAM subscribers,
On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to announce the publication of our
article 'Looking back to move forward: lessons from three decades of
research and management of cetacean tourism in New Zealand', recently
published in Frontiers in Marine Science. The article can be accessed via
https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.624448 (open access), or you can also
email me at marta.guerra at otago.ac.nz for a copy of the pdf.
Best wishes,

 'Looking back to move forward: lessons from three decades of research and
management of cetacean tourism in New Zealand'

Maddalena Fumagalli, Marta Guerra, Tom Brough, William Carome, Rochelle
Constantine, James Higham, Will Rayment, Elisabeth Slooten, Karen Stockin,
Steve Dawson.

Cetacean tourism in Aotearoa New Zealand is now over 30 years old and has
experienced substantial growth in visitor numbers and operations. The
industry is remarkably diverse, targeting several dolphin and whale
species, and encompassing varied habitats in coastal waters, fiords and
submarine canyons. The knowledge and experience collected over these past
30 years has both advanced the global understanding of cetacean tourism,
and influenced scientific practices for its study and management. Here we
review the approaches taken in quantifying the impact of cetacean tourism
in New Zealand, and critically assess the efficacy of the research and
management strategies adopted. We place particular focus on the Bay of
Islands, Hauraki Gulf, Kaikoura, Akaroa and Fiordland, areas that include
the oldest, and longest studied industries nationally. We propose a set of
best research practices, expose the most notable knowledge gaps and
identify emerging research questions. Drawing on perspectives from the
natural and social sciences, we outline the key determinants of failure and
success in protecting cetacean populations from the detrimental impact of
tourism. We suggest four golden rules for future management efforts: (1)
acknowledge cetacean tourism as a sub-lethal anthropogenic stressor to be
managed with precaution, (2) apply integrated and adaptive site- and
species-specific approaches, (3) fully conceptualize tourism within its
broader social and ecological contexts, and (4) establish authentic
collaborations and engagement with the local community. Lastly, we forecast
upcoming challenges and opportunities for research and management of this
industry in the context of global climate change. Despite New Zealand's
early establishment of precautionary legislation and advanced tourism
research and management approaches, we detected flaws in current schemes,
and emphasize the need for more adaptive and comprehensive strategies.
Cetacean tourism remains an ongoing challenge in New Zealand and globally.
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