Shipboard visitors to the Antarctic are routinely rewarded with whale sightings. However, careful management and dedicated research are needed to ensure that the growing Antarctic marine tourism industry does not inadvertently harm these populations, which are recovering from heavy exploitation in the early part of the 20th century. Ongoing research by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) aims to monitor whale population recovery, and the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has developed operational guidelines to minimize and mitigate potential impacts, some specific to marine mammals and marine wildlife watching. Nonetheless, while boat-based tourism has the potential to affect whales, responsible tourism also has a substantial contribution to make to Antarctic whale conservation and research through collaboration.
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.