The Whaling And Whale Seeing Industry Tourism Essay

The ecotourism industry, once a niche market for the environmentally concerned travellers gets more popular in the modern times and the amount of tourists taking part in this particular tourism segment is increasing (Lumber, 2001).

Ecotourism initially describe the nature-based happen to be relatively undisturbed areas with education as the key purpose. Through the years, the concept of ecotourism has matured to a explanation that should include a few elements including nature-based, energetic participation, progressive education travel, interpretation of natural environments, social and social components, involvement and dividends for the local community as well as the management to be ecologically and environmentally lasting (Parks, Parks, & Allen, 2009).

In ecotourism, the activities can range between a couple of hours of nature understanding to an extended duration head to that will need months. This includes activities such as presentation of the marine biology on a sail (cetacean-watching), a led head to in a countrywide park, snorkelling and so many more.

The main objective of this essay is to further discuss whale-watching, a type of cetacean watching, about the world of course, if this activity has effects on the behaviours of the whales human population near the seaside area.


Whale-watching is a commercial activity that is carried out by the tourists to see, swim with and/or listen to the whales in their natural habitat. These activities are normally for recreation goal; however whale-watching can also serve technological and educational goal.

During days gone by years, a phenomenal expansion for whale enjoying as tourism activity has been detected round the world. This particular activity has included an estimated of 9 million members yearly in 87 countries and generates around US$1 billion each year (Hoyt, 2000)

With the rewarding profit from obtainable from whale-watching activity, this have resulted in heated up debates on the whale-watching and whaling industry. It's been argued that whaling is incompatible with whale-watching (Parsons & Draheim, A reason not to support whaling - a travel and leisure impact case study from the Dominican Republic, 2009). Inside a survey conducted, it was found out that 91. 4% of whale-watching vacationers would not go to countries whereby they hunt whales for commercial purpose to activate in whale watching; and this 79% of these even would boycott visiting the country (Parsons and Rawles, 2003, cited in (Parsons & Draheim, A reason never to support whaling - a tourism impact research study from the Dominican Republic, 2009)).

A few of the popular sites for whale-watching includes: Kaikoura, New Zealand; Tofino and Telegraph Cove, in English Columbia, Canada; Ogata and Ogasawara, Japan; Friday Harbour, Washington, USA; Hervey Bay, Byron Bay, and Monkey Mia, Australia; Husavik, Iceland and many more. Matching to Hoyt (2000), the most typical focal kinds for whale-watching industries will be the humpback whales, gray whales, north and southern right whales, blue whales, minke whales, sperm whales, short-finned pilot whales, orcas and bottlenose dolphin.

Despite the huge benefits from whale-watching activity, providers should take caution while undertaking these activities as the outdoor recreation in the inshore water can pose a significant danger to the whales and dolphins. The dangers can as a consequence to immediate cause such as traumas due to accidental slashes by the motorboats propeller, or an indirect stress to them from the high frequency sounds made by the vessels motor unit.

In order to avoid such harms for the animals, the operators should follow by the marine code of conduct in order to protect the pets welfare. There will vary group of code of carry out that are used across the world but the common rules found in these code includes maintaining a certain distance from the animals, maintain a predictable course and acceleration when near the pets and also move away if symptoms of disturbance are displayed by the pets.

However, is it sufficient to just abide by the code of do and should there become more actions to be undertaken by the government to assist in the sustainability of the tourism activity. Several studies have been carried out throughout several regions to go over more on the problems of the whale-watching activities and whether this activity is sustainable.

Literature Reviews

Whaling and Whale-Watching

Debates have been taking place worldwide on the issue on whether whaling can co-exist with whale-watching in an area. It has been stated that there surely is an urgent need to evaluate the social and environmentally friendly beliefs of the travelers and find out what are the factors that draws in or discourages them from taking part in whale-watching activity (Higham, 2007 and Lusseau, 2008, cited in (Parsons & Draheim, A reason not to support whaling - a tourism impact research study from the Dominican Republic, 2009)). However, there are rebuttal on such boasts, indicating that the fact whereby countries such as Iceland, Japan and Norway all engage in active whaling and yet have whale-watching activities within their countries and thus it is not valid to argue that whaling and whale-watching are incompatible (Corkeron, 2006, cited in (Parsons & Draheim, A reason not to support whaling - a travel and leisure impact case study from the Dominican Republic, 2009)).

According to Parson and Draheim (2009), the tourists whom participated in cetacean tourism tend to maintain strong environmental prices and so may have quite strong sentiments against whaling. Also, travel and leisure receipts is the major way to obtain economical income for the Dominican Republic, any activity that may affects the steadiness of this income may have major influences within the united states. The analysis also shows that with an extremely visible national plan towards cetacean conservation, and opposition to the hunting and catch of cetaceans, it might be beneficial in attracting tourists to the united states, whereas a visible pro-whaling policy might repel the travellers (Parsons & Draheim, Grounds not to support whaling - a travel and leisure impact case study from the Dominican Republic, 2009).

Higham and Lusseau, (2008) also declare that the answer to whether whaling and whale-watching activity can coexist will depend mainly in the perceptions, values and behaviours of the visitors themselves.

Effects of whale-watching on the animals

Despite the rewarding profits that may be from whale-watching activity, the well-being of the pets mixed up in activity, which mainly includes the cetaceans should be emphasised, which thus leads to increasing range of studies concentrating on if the whale-watching activity will cause disruption to the family pets.

Disturbance in cases like this is defined as the negative effect that interferes with the natural behaviour of cetaceans and has a dangerous final result (Ritter, 2003, cited in (Stamation, Croft, Shaughnessy, Waples, & Briggs, 2009)).

One of such studies was completed in the whale-watching site at New South Wales (NSW). The primary focus of whale-watching in NSW is the humpback whales, although there are also tours to view other marine mammals such as dolphins and seals. Most of the watching will arise through the whales southern migration when the whales move much slower than on the passage northwards. Signs of disruption in the humpback whales about the world include orientation from the vessel, increased in going swimming speeds, long term submergence and changes in the respiration behavior and such avoidance behaviour are found in this analysis (Stamation, Croft, Shaughnessy, Waples, & Briggs, 2009).

As this review is a short term review, it can't be used to summarize that such avoidance behaviours may cause any detrimental outcome for the whales engaged. However, the options of inducing negative long-term effects onto the whales due to the reduction of enough time spent foraging; relaxing, socializing or suckling shouldn't be ignored. Conservative methodology on the management of the humpback whale-watching industry should be used to ensure that the short-term effects that was learned in this study does not translate to the long term effects (Stamation, Croft, Shaughnessy, Waples, & Briggs, 2009).

Another review has been done on the killer whales to discover the behavioural responses of this kinds for the whale-watching boats. It was explained that with the vulnerability of an incredible number of the tourists to the pets in their natural environment, this may change the behaviour towards the protection of the critical habitat and threatened populations. Guidelines for whale-watching should be based on the actual influences of the individual activity on the whale behaviour instead of the perceived effects. Once again, it have being emphasised that when a whale is been disturbed, it shows sign of avoidance either by differing the period of its dives, or by going swimming faster or changing the route of going swimming. Antagonistic behaviours such as slapping flukes or fins on the top of water can also be displayed. Because the changes in behaviours of the whales are found when boats are in close proximity to, management of whale-watching should choose more traditional distance guidelines to provide even greater benefit to the pets (Williams, Trites, & Bain, 2002).

Sustainability of whale-watching

As mentioned previously, whale-watching industry has appreciated a phenomenal development and earns lucrative profit for the city that provides out this activity. With this, there tend to be more participants in this industry and hence leading to a growing number of polices and guidelines that were developed in an attempt to ensure the sustainability of the industry. The need to develop appropriate guidelines for the commercial whale-watching activities should be focus on. Also, with the limited data on the kinds and their behaviours there will be an immediate need to develop new knowledge and understanding to help guide management of the industry (Valentine, Birtles, Curnock, Arnold, & Dunstan, 2004).

The sustainability of the whale-watching activity and its own associated benefits could be significantly affected by the changes in the occurrence of the neighborhood cetacean kinds in response to the global local climate change. Global environment change identifies the net change in environment over time which is a consequence of either natural variability or individuals activity. It has been determined that both direct and indirect means by which changing of the sea surface heat range could influence the cetacean syndication. Get back, it can cause the change in range of species syndication, the incident and abundance of people and the timing and lengths of migrations; the consequences on reproductive success and mortality levels. The aforementioned have evidently shown the actual implications for both cetacean types and whale-watching travel and leisure (Lambert, Hunter, Pierce, & MacLeod, 2010).


Studies on the operations of the whale-watching activities in two different parts, New Zealand and Iceland have been done.

Whale-watching in New Zealand

At Kaikoura, New Zealand, the male sperm whales will be the primary emphasis for the commercially important whale-watching industry. While using growing industry, there is an upsurge in the concerns over the social, educational and environmental influences of whale-watching on both the local man and whale populations.

The cetacean depends on echolocation for foraging and communication, hence these species becomes exceptionally vulnerable to changes in their acoustic environment. For instance, the addition of anthropogenic sound options via the boats presence (research sail boat and whale-watching boats) results a reduction of the mean blow period of the whales. These tendencies to shorten breath are due to the stress react by the pets (Richter, Dawson, & Slooten, 2006).

On top of the decreased respiratory intervals, shorter surfacing intervals and razor-sharp directional changes have also been identified as potentially unacceptable changes in behavior. These are evidences that are enough to claim that the whale-watching industry in Kaikoura is having a detrimental influence on the whales (Curtin, 2003).

Whale-watching in Iceland

In Iceland the whale-watching industry didn't begin until 1990 and the united states is becoming a significant player quickly within the international whale-watching market (Parsons & Rawles, 2010). As the coastal drinking water of Iceland variety a number of cetacean species which includes the humpback whales, minke whales, blue whales and killer whales that will be the target of whale-watching functions. Although whaling activity in the Icelandic waters had ceased in 1989, but whaling resumes during 2003 despite there is absolutely no legal process for that.

The Icelandic authorities did little concern how the application of the commercial whaling might impact on the whale-watching industry. And through the studies, it was found out that the resumption of commercial whaling might lead to a massive and critical reduction in the number of whale-watching tourist taking place whale-watching travels in Iceland which in turn leads to a lack of immediate income (Parsons & Rawles, 2010).

Since whale-watching happens to be the pillar of the Icelandic current economic climate, thus service must be taken so the Icelandic government will not ruin it.


Through the reviews of the studies which may have been done on the whale-watching activity in various regions, especially New Zealand and Iceland, it could be concluded that the whale-watching industry is a growing industry that will generate high earnings for the community that is executing such activities. However, the whale-watching activity that has been carried out can cause disturbance to the cetaceans in the areas which brings about the change in behaviours of the pets or animals. These changes in behaviours can cause unfavorable influence on the animals. In addition, the whale-watching activity may cause direct accidental injuries to these pets or animals through the slashes by the propeller of the ships.

Another issue is the fact commercial whaling shouldn't coexist with the whale-watching activity. As it has been found out that almost all of the whale-watchers are very environmentally motivated plus they display great interest in the pet welfare issues (Parsons & Rawles, 2010). Since most the whale-watchers have voiced out that they would boycott going to a country that conducts hunts for cetaceans, places with whale-watching activity should think about with care regarding the implementation of whaling activity in your community since whale-watching can bring in high revenue for the vacation spot and that introduction of whaling might lower the benefit of whale-watching.


Voluntary methods are being considered as an important tool for the conservation and environmental management. The voluntary methods towards conservation can include contracts between regulatory firms and private venture, agreements on the list of industrial businesses, or code of do within a professional or industrial group (Wiley, Moller, Speed III, & Carlson, 2008). Voluntary contract to the functional procedures can be set up for commercial whale-watching vessels that are being used to view the endangered or covered varieties of whales. Recommendations can be created to avoid whale attacks and to prevent the whale-watching boats from disrupting the pets. That is important as in a few of the areas, commercial whale-watching watercraft have a relatively high frequency of collisions with the whales, adding high sound levels about the whales, disrupting whale behavior and reducing the reproductive fitness of the whale (Wiley, Moller, Tempo III, & Carlson, 2008).

Besides the utilization of voluntary strategy, collaborative interactions can be proven between your whale-watching companies and the related organizations and individuals that define the organizational field. These collaborations can play an important role in structuring the relationships and understandings of associates of the field (Lawrence, Phillips, & Hardy, 1999). By collaboration, it refers to a cooperative, inter-organisational romance that is negotiated in an ongoing communicative method.

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