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The role of operators in sustainable whale-watching tourism: Proposing a continuous training framework
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Bolin Centre for Climate Research (together with KTH & SMHI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3527-0241
Number of Authors: 32024 (English)In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 19, no 1, article id e0296241Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Whale watching is considered a form of green tourism, but can affect marine ecosystems, impacting cetaceans’ behavior and potentially increasing acoustic pollution. A more sustainable whale-watching practice should employ a comprehensive approach involving all stakeholders, but whale-watching operators are rarely involved. We propose a method to assess whale–watching operators’ perceptions regarding the possible effects of their activity on marine fauna and preferred mitigation solutions, by means of online questionnaires and website communication strategies. Results from Canadian whale-watching operators show that they observe regulations regarding distance to whales but only partially perceive general vessels’ impacts on fauna. Three recognized whale-watching experts identify the need for continuous training targeted at operators, which should include the impacts on marine ecosystems. A continuous training framework is proposed that targets whale-watching operators in addition to tourists, and involves scientists in several steps of the approach. This study serves as a starting point to involve operators’ in order to advance towards a sustainable whale-watching tourism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 19, no 1, article id e0296241
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Environmental Management Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0296241ISI: 001136266700170PubMedID: 38166106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-227014DiVA, id: diva2:1841829
Available from: 2024-03-01 Created: 2024-03-01 Last updated: 2024-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Affatati, AliceScaini, ChiaraScaini, Anna
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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