Meeting Flipper in the wild: managing swim with dolphin tourism in Australia

Zeppel, Heather (2007) Meeting Flipper in the wild: managing swim with dolphin tourism in Australia. In: 5th International Coastal and Marine Tourism Congress: Balancing Marine Tourism, Development and Sustainability (CMT2007), 11-15 Sep 2007, Auckland, New Zealand.

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Between 1998 and 2003 cetacean tourism in Australia expanded at a rate of 15 per cent per annum (IFAW, 2004). Bottlenose dolphins are the primary target species for commercial dolphin tourism in Australia. This includes dolphin-watching boat trips, swim with wild dolphin tours and habituated wild dolphin-feeding programs. Specific groups of resident bottlenose dolphins in areas such as Shark Bay, Bunbury and Rockingham Bay (WA), Port Philip Bay (Vic), Port Stephens, Jervis Bay and Forster (NSW), Moreton Bay (Qld), Baird Bay and Adelaide (SA) have frequent encounters with boats or swimmers. The Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching 2005 specify legal standards and best practice guidelines for cetacean interaction. However there are still variations between different government jurisdictions and also the practices of dolphin tour operators. This paper focuses on commercial swim with wild dolphin tours in Australia. These tours have varied modes of in-water encounters with wild dolphins, from free swimming, mermaid lines, boom nets, and the use of motorised water scooters. The impacts on wild dolphins of these different types of swim tours, has not been examined. Commercial practices that are contrary to national or state guidelines for dolphins include operators breaching approach distances and times, the direction of approach and swim time. This paper examines the guidelines and practices of swim with dolphin tours, and makes some key recommendations for management of wild dolphin tourism.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c. Auckland University of Technology.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ Other
Date Deposited: 23 May 2011 09:26
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2011 23:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: swim-with-dolphins; national guidelines; tourism impacts
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1506 Tourism > 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
06 Biological Sciences > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy

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