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Educational and Conservation Value of Whale Watching

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Many people support whale watching on the basis that it enhances people's appreciation and awareness of the whales they are viewing and can lead to the protection of the species and of the environment generally. Because whale watching can directly impact on whales' behavior it is important that whale watching is beneficial for people's understanding of whales and for the conservation of whales. This article examines the educational and conservation value of the whale-watching experiences currently offered in New South Wales, Australia. The current education provided lacks structure, there are no clear conservation objectives, and there is limited addition to knowledge and conservation behaviors of whale watchers in the long term. Through improvement of the education provided during whale-watching experiences, it is argued that the whale-watching industry can become a more sustainable form of wildlife tourism and provide conservation benefits for whales and other forms of biodiversity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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  • Tourism in Marine Environments is an interdisciplinary journal dealing with a variety of management issues in marine settings. It is a scientific journal that draws upon the expertise of academics and practitioners from various disciplines related to the marine environment, including tourism, marine science, geography, social sciences, psychology, environmental studies, economics, marketing, and many more.
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