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Business partner or simple catch? The economic value of the sicklefin lemon shark in French Polynesia

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Business partner or simple catch? The economic value of the sicklefin lemon shark in French Polynesia

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Abstract

Most arguments invoked so far by the scientific community in favour of shark conservation rely on the ecological importance of sharks, and have little impact on management policies. During a 57-month study, we were able to individually recognise 39 sicklefin lemon sharks that support a shark-feeding ecotourism activity in Moorea Island, French Polynesia. We calculated the direct global revenue generated by the provisioning site, based on the expenses of local and international divers. The total yearly revenue was around USD5.4 million and the 13 sharks most often observed at the site had an average contribution each of around USD316 699. Any one of these sharks represents a potential contribution of USD2.64 million during its life span. We argue that publicising economic values per individual will be more effective than general declarations about their ecological importance for convincing policy makers and fishers that a live shark is more valuable than a dead shark for the local economy. Studies monitoring the potential negative ecological effects of long-term feeding of sharks should, however, be conducted to ensure these are also considered. Besides declarations about the non-consumptive direct-use value of sharks, as promoted by ecotourism, the calculation of their other economic values should also benefit shark conservation.

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... The shark diving industry is now widespread and takes place in 29 different countries with 376 different operators , and generates $314 million USD in economic expenditures per year (Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013). Numerous case studies around the world have demonstrated the economic value of elasmobranchs (Anderson and Waheed, 2001;Anderson et al., 2010;Brunnschweiler, 2010;Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2012), Biological Conservation 207 (2017) [55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63] which in many cases have consolidated and expanded management initiatives in these nations. ...
... National larger than Fiji's ($42.2 million USD), Palau's ($18 million USD), and French Polynesia's ($5.4 million USD) shark diving industries (Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2011Vianna et al., , 2012, in addition to several others. This study has followed the concepts and methods similar to other economic valuations of elasmobranchs (Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2012), however, we did not attempt to place a value per individual animal which has proved controversial in past studies (Catlin et al., 2013;Vianna et al., 2013). ...
... National larger than Fiji's ($42.2 million USD), Palau's ($18 million USD), and French Polynesia's ($5.4 million USD) shark diving industries (Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2011Vianna et al., , 2012, in addition to several others. This study has followed the concepts and methods similar to other economic valuations of elasmobranchs (Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2012), however, we did not attempt to place a value per individual animal which has proved controversial in past studies (Catlin et al., 2013;Vianna et al., 2013). Rather, we assessed the relative contribution of specific species to the Bahamian economy, which indicated that the Caribbean reef shark was responsible for generating 93.7% of the revenue generated by dedicated shark dives, making this the most economically important species of shark in The Bahamas. ...
Article
Full-text available
Elasmobranch populations in The Bahamas offer a unique juxtaposition to the widespread decline of many species around the world, largely due to management and conservation initiatives implemented over the last 25 years. Several industries have been built around the diverse and abundant elasmobranch assemblages found in The Bahamas, however a comprehensive assessment of the non-consumptive economic value of this resource has yet to be undertaken. In this study, we identified various sectors that benefit from elasmobranch populations in The Bahamas, which included tourism, film and television and research. We incorporated data from operator and participant surveys, government sources and information available on the Internet to calculate the economic value and location of these various sectors. This study establishes The Bahamas dive industry as the largest in the world, contributing approximately $113.8 million USD annually to the Bahamian economy in direct and value added expenditures. Elasmobranch tourism generated 99% of the total revenue, and the balance generated by film and television and research. The relative economic importance of shark diving was greater in economically disadvantaged out-islands where specific charismatic species are sought. This was also in locations where a large proportion of the revenue generated by those activities does not enter the Bahamian economy. The sustained national stewardship demonstrated by the Bahamian government will ensure that this important economic resource continues to be productive, but also highlights the need for regional Caribbean-wide commitment to the management of highly migratory species that are important to many economically depressed areas of The Bahamas.
... Tourism based on elasmobranchs, whereby participants seek contact with sharks and rays in their natural environment, is a fastgrowing activity (Clua et al., 2011;Gallagher & Hammerschlag, 2011;Zimmerhackel et al., 2019). To maximize the chances of encounters or to aggregate animals at the same location, many tour operators use provisioning, a practice that includes simple attraction by olfactory stimulus (chumming) and active feeding of elasmobranchs (see review by Gallagher et al., 2015). ...
... To maximize the chances of encounters or to aggregate animals at the same location, many tour operators use provisioning, a practice that includes simple attraction by olfactory stimulus (chumming) and active feeding of elasmobranchs (see review by Gallagher et al., 2015). Shark and ray tourism, attracting more than 500,000 participants expending around USD 314 million per year globally, has clear economic benefits and may lead to greater willingness to conserve these animals by governments and the general public (Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013;Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2012;Zimmerhackel et al., 2018). Accordingly, it may help to meet the urgent need for measures to preserve shark and ray populations, many of which have declined at a worldwide scale and, in some cases, become functionally extinct (Dulvy et al., 2014;Macneil et al., 2020). ...
... Both species are globally declining in numbers and are listed on the IUCN Red List as "Near threatened" and "Vulnerable", respectively (Heupel, 2009;Manjaji Matsumoto et al., 2016). Daily and year-round provisioning of both sharks and rays has been carried out on Tiahura since the 1980s (and inconsistently before), usually with fish discards and frozen squids (Clua et al., 2011;Mourier et al., 2021). Both professional operators who can bring up to 50 tourists per boat and individual users can share the area, which receives an average daily human attendance of around 100 people and up to almost 500 for special occasions such as Polynesian holidays when locals mix with tourists (Buray, 2015). ...
Article
The tourism activities linked to artificial provisioning of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) and pink whiprays (Pateobatis fai) on a specific site in French Polynesia were suddenly and completely stopped due to a COVID-19 lockdown that lasted 6 weeks from March 20 until April 30, 2020. Using both drone footage and underwater counting, we were able to track the abundance of those two species before, during, and after reopening and thus investigate the impact of provisioning on wild shark populations. The absence of any stimulus during this long period resulted in almost total desertion of the site by the elasmobranchs. However, 1 day prior to reopening, some individuals of both species positively reacted to the single acoustic stimulus of an engine boat, showing the resilience of conditioning, and some elasmobranchs reacted to acoustic and olfactive stimuli linked to the provisioning practice from the first day after reopening. During the first 2 weeks after reopening, the abundance of both species remained at reduced levels comparable to those observed between 2008 and 2010 for sharks; i.e., around 9 animals in the presence of local tourists. Pre-lockdown abundance levels, reaching approximatively 15 individuals for sharks and 10 for rays, were considered restored 1 and 2 months after reopening for blacktip reef sharks and pink whiprays, respectively. These findings improve our capacity to better understand the potential effects of artificial provisioning tourism on the abundance of elasmobranchs by showing that conditioning is resilient for several weeks, suggesting that intermittent interruption of elasmobranchs feeding would not really help to decrease its impact on animal welfare.
... This type of non-consumptive use of sharks has been growing in popularity and some studies suggest that the economic benefits may be considerable (Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011;Dicken & Hosking, 2009;Gallagher & Hammerschlag, 2011;Rowat & Engelhardt, 2007;Vianna et al., 2012). However, research is still scarce as discussion continues to focus on the central question of knowing if the economic benefits/incentives associated with shark watching are sufficient to encourage a reduction in fishing pressure, contributing at the same time to shark conservation (Brunnschweiler & Ward-Paige, 2014;Catlin, Hughes, Jones, Jones, & Campbell, 2013;Gallagher et al., 2015). ...
... In some countries such as the Maldives, United States and Philippines shark diving eventually led to the protection of sharks and/or their habitats (Anderson & Waheed, 1999, 2001. In French Polynesia, in 2006, shark fishing was banned (Clua et al., 2011) while in Palau a nation-wide shark sanctuary was created within the Exclusive Economic Zone (Vianna et al., 2012). Despite these successful examples, several factors can limit the economic growth of shark diving ecotourism and its sustainability, threatening in turn conservation goals. ...
... According to Cisneros-Montemayor et al. (2013), shark diving generates annual revenues in the order of US$314 million supporting around 10,000 jobs. Also, Clua et al. (2011) stated that the annual revenue per site or country ranged from US$2.2 to 7.4 million, depending on year and region, which fits into our shark dive estimation for the Azores region of about US$2,244.890. ...
Article
In the Mid-Atlantic Azores, the emergence of a seasonal ecotourism shark diving industry strongly contrasts with a North Atlantic shark fishery for regional, national and foreign fleets. Shark diving may provide an economic alternative to fishing, promoting an ecological and economical sustainable use of these animals, favouring their conservation. Understanding socio-economic aspects of this new Mid-Atlantic industry is the first step towards its sustainability and ultimately shark conservation. Data were collected by means of questionnaire designed to solicit information on shark divers’ knowledge, socio-economic status, expenditures and expectations, conducted between July and August 2014 on Pico and Faial Islands, to 144 divers. The majority of respondents were male (71%), between 25 and 40 years (41%), mainly from Germany, Holland and Austria, and 44% visited the Azores purposely to dive with sharks. On average, 2.6 sharks were seen per dive and 97% of respondents did not perceive any form of shark aggression or threat. The estimated generated income of shark diving in 2014 for the Azores amounts to 1,983.347 € (around US$2,244.890). Such an amount may easily increase following the current rates of expansion for (eco)tourism in the Azores and the infancy of the local shark diving activity. Finally, it is worth saying that nearly 70% of participants were willing to pay an extra amount until 60€ to ensure that shark diving remains an option and more than half (53%) would like to see that amount invested in conservation.
... Dolphin-swim tourism revenue was calculated based on similar methods conducted in a study by Clua et al. (2011). The mean participation and direct revenue on boat-based dolphin-swim tourism in Kailua-Kona and Waianae were calculated using a PST model developed with information obtained from operator interviews and participant observation. ...
... Using a discount rate helps to account for the decreased risk of life expectancy; however, discount rates can vary. Previous marine-based discount rates have ranged from 10% for marine protected areas (Samonte-Tan et al., 2007), 8% for lemon sharks (Clua et al., 2011), 5% for reef sharks (Vianna et al., 2012), and 2.65% for humpback whales and whale sharks (Knowles and Campbell, 2011;Catlin et al., 2013). Lower discount rates place greater emphasis on future value (i.e., 2.65%), whereas the larger end of the scale (i.e., 10%), value present day. ...
Article
Full-text available
Wild dolphin-swim tourism has grown in specific locations where Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) have known resting habitat. The increased growth in dolphin-swim businesses has created an industry in Hawaii that earns an estimated $102 million (USD) annually in 2013. Semi-structured interviews with business owners, market research, and boat-based observations provide a platform for estimating revenue generated from dolphin tourism in two popular locations, Waianae, Oahu and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island. A revenue analysis of dolphin-swim tourism is presented using a peak season and utilization rate model. These predictions offer an accountability exercise based on a series of assumptions regarding wild dolphin-swim demand and an annual estimate of the number of viewing participants and revenue earned. The results show that dolphin viewing companies are making a larger profit than dolphin-swim businesses by approximately $19 million (USD) per year, however, both avenues are generating large earnings. Sizable differences between businesses in Kona and Waianae are discussed. The average lifetime revenue generated by a dolphin in 2013 is estimated at $3,364,316 (USD) for Waianae and $1,608,882 (USD) for Kona, and is presented as a first step in scenario analysis for policy makers looking to implement management in the bays where tourism occurs. This study offers the first revenue estimates of spinner dolphin tourism in Hawaii, which can provide context for further discussion on the impact and economic role of the dolphin-swim industry in the state.
... Scuba diving in particular has been shown to be a valuable segment of marine tourism with estimates for Southeast Asia alone as high as USD$4.5 billion per year [39]. An examination of species-specific scuba diving reveals the annual global value of diving or snorkelling with manta rays, for example, is approximately USD$73 million [38] and for sharks between USD$5.4 million to USD$18 million per year, depending on the location and shark species [12,29,47]. ...
... While searching for rare marine species is a highly specialised niche market, it attracts a large number of divers to Southeast Asia. Other well-known, valuable marine tourism destinations such as Bonaire, Moorea, Palau all attract fewer divers on an annual basis [12,45,47]. Furthermore, muck dive tourism is nearly always the dedicated purpose of a holiday, which is why divers stay longer in one location and conduct more dives than divers visiting other destinations, leading to a higher expenditure [29]. ...
Article
Scuba diving tourism has the potential to be a sustainable source of income for developing countries. Around the world, tourists pay significant amounts of money to see coral reefs or iconic, large animals such as sharks and manta rays. Scuba diving tourism is broadening and becoming increasingly popular, a novel type of scuba diving which little is known about, is muck diving. Muck diving focuses on finding rare, cryptic species that are seldom seen on coral reefs. This study investigates the value of muck diving, its participant and employee demographics and potential threats to the industry. Results indicate that muck dive tourism is worth more than USD$ 150 million annually in Indonesia and the Philippines combined. It employs over 2200 people and attracts more than 100,000 divers per year. Divers participating in muck dive tourism are experienced, well-educated, have high incomes, and are willing to pay for the protection of species crucial to the industry. Overcrowding of dive sites, pollution and conflicts with fishermen are reported as potential threats to the industry, but limited knowledge on these impacts warrants further research. This study shows that muck dive tourism is a sustainable form of nature based tourism in developing countries, particularly in areas where little or no potential for traditional coral reef scuba diving exists.
... Although utilitarianism requires that all interests (human and animal) receive equal consideration, it does not require equal treatment; thus, humans may be given preference over animals due to their higher capacity to suffer (Dobson, 2011;Singer, 1995). Applying this theory to wildlife tourism, potential benefits of wildlife tourism include human enjoyment, education, funding for conservation, economic incentives to protect a species and or environment, scientific research, instilling a conservation ethic in participants, and community social and economic benefits (Ardoin, Wheaton, Bowers, Hunt, & Durham, 2015;Ballantyne, Packer, & Falk, 2011;Ballantyne, Packer, & Hughes, 2009;Bentz, Dearden, Ritter, & Calado, 2014;Brooks, Waylen, & Mulder, 2013;Brunnschweiler, 2010;Camp & Fraser, 2012;Catlin, Hughes, Jones, Jones, & Campbell, 2013; Cisneros-Montemayor, Barnes-Mauthe, Al-Abdulrazzak, Navarro-Holm, & Sumaila, 2013;Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011;Dobson, 2011;Filby, Stockin, & Scarpaci, 2015;Higham & Lusseau, 2007, 2008Hill, Byrne, & Pickering, 2015;Lück, 2003;Mayes, Dyer, & Richins, 2004;Mintzer et al., 2015;Newsome, Lewis, & Moncrieff, 2004;Orams, 2002;O'Malley, Lee-Brooks, & Medd, 2013;Parsons, 2012;Pegas, Coghlan, Stronza, & Rocha, 2013;Powell & Ham, 2008;Reynolds & Braithwaite, 2001;Tisdell & Wilson, 2001;Topelko & Dearden, 2005;Vianna, Meekan, Pannell, Marsh, & Meeuwig, 2012;Waylen, McGowan, & Milner-Gulland, 2009;Wilson & Tisdell, 2003). The costs of wildlife tourism activities include negative impacts on the focal species, other wildlife, tourists, and potentially the local community (Archer, Cooper, & Ruhanen, 2005;Burgin & Hardiman, 2015;Dubois & Fraser, 2013;Gallagher et al., 2015;Higham, Bejder, Allen, Corkeron, & Lusseau, 2016;Parsons, 2012;Patroni et al., 2018;Rizzari et al., 2017;Walpole & Goodwin, 2001). ...
... It is therefore necessary to determine if there are sufficient benefits of provisioning activities to the whale sharks and local community to justify the activity. Based on a literature review and justifications identified in the Tri-pAdvisor analysis, the primary benefits of provisioned whale shark tourism activities in Oslob include human enjoyment, providing economic incentives to protect whale sharks and the greater environment, education, benefits to the local economy and community, and scientific research opportunities (e.g., tagging) (Apps, Dimmock, Lloyd, & Huveneers, 2017;Brunnschweiler, 2010;Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013;Clua et al., 2011;Dobson, 2011;Filby et al., 2015;Higham & Lusseau, 2007, 2008Mayes et al., 2004;Orams, 2002;Pegas et al., 2013;Tisdell & Wilson, 2001;Vianna et al., 2012;Wilson & Tisdell, 2003;Zeppel & Muloin, 2008a, b). Human enjoyment of the whale sharks is one of the primary benefits identified in this study with nearly 90% positive reviews on TripAdvisor and over 90% of survey respondents stating that they enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to others. ...
Article
This study explored the ethics of provisioning wildlife to enhance tourist interactions at a whale shark tourism site in Oslob, Philippines. TripAdvisor comments (n = 947) and tourist surveys (n = 761) were used to better understand tourists' perceptions of whale shark provisioning in Oslob. The ethical decisions made were then critically assessed using utilitarian and animal welfare ethical philosophies. The majority of respondents supported whale shark provisioning, despite many being aware of the ethical complications of provisioning sharks for tourism purposes. Respondents justified their participation in this activity using mainly economic, human enjoyment, and animal welfare arguments. A utilitarian assessment of the potential costs and benefits of this activity highlighted the gaps in our knowledge regarding the economic and social benefits of this activity, as well as the negative impacts on the sharks’ welfare. Until such analyses are completed, significant ethical questions remain regarding the provisioning of these sharks.
... Although utilitarianism requires that all interests (human and animal) receive equal consideration, it does not require equal treatment; thus, humans may be given preference over animals due to their higher capacity to suffer (Dobson, 2011;Singer, 1995). Applying this theory to wildlife tourism, potential benefits of wildlife tourism include human enjoyment, education, funding for conservation, economic incentives to protect a species and or environment, scientific research, instilling a conservation ethic in participants, and community social and economic benefits (Ardoin, Wheaton, Bowers, Hunt, & Durham, 2015;Ballantyne, Packer, & Falk, 2011;Ballantyne, Packer, & Hughes, 2009;Bentz, Dearden, Ritter, & Calado, 2014;Brooks, Waylen, & Mulder, 2013;Brunnschweiler, 2010;Camp & Fraser, 2012;Catlin, Hughes, Jones, Jones, & Campbell, 2013; Cisneros-Montemayor, Barnes-Mauthe, Al-Abdulrazzak, Navarro-Holm, & Sumaila, 2013;Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011;Dobson, 2011;Filby, Stockin, & Scarpaci, 2015;Higham & Lusseau, 2007, 2008Hill, Byrne, & Pickering, 2015;Lück, 2003;Mayes, Dyer, & Richins, 2004;Mintzer et al., 2015;Newsome, Lewis, & Moncrieff, 2004;Orams, 2002;O'Malley, Lee-Brooks, & Medd, 2013;Parsons, 2012;Pegas, Coghlan, Stronza, & Rocha, 2013;Powell & Ham, 2008;Reynolds & Braithwaite, 2001;Tisdell & Wilson, 2001;Topelko & Dearden, 2005;Vianna, Meekan, Pannell, Marsh, & Meeuwig, 2012;Waylen, McGowan, & Milner-Gulland, 2009;Wilson & Tisdell, 2003). The costs of wildlife tourism activities include negative impacts on the focal species, other wildlife, tourists, and potentially the local community (Archer, Cooper, & Ruhanen, 2005;Burgin & Hardiman, 2015;Dubois & Fraser, 2013;Gallagher et al., 2015;Higham, Bejder, Allen, Corkeron, & Lusseau, 2016;Parsons, 2012;Patroni et al., 2018;Rizzari et al., 2017;Walpole & Goodwin, 2001). ...
... It is therefore necessary to determine if there are sufficient benefits of provisioning activities to the whale sharks and local community to justify the activity. Based on a literature review and justifications identified in the Tri-pAdvisor analysis, the primary benefits of provisioned whale shark tourism activities in Oslob include human enjoyment, providing economic incentives to protect whale sharks and the greater environment, education, benefits to the local economy and community, and scientific research opportunities (e.g., tagging) (Apps, Dimmock, Lloyd, & Huveneers, 2017;Brunnschweiler, 2010;Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013;Clua et al., 2011;Dobson, 2011;Filby et al., 2015;Higham & Lusseau, 2007, 2008Mayes et al., 2004;Orams, 2002;Pegas et al., 2013;Tisdell & Wilson, 2001;Vianna et al., 2012;Wilson & Tisdell, 2003;Zeppel & Muloin, 2008a, b). Human enjoyment of the whale sharks is one of the primary benefits identified in this study with nearly 90% positive reviews on TripAdvisor and over 90% of survey respondents stating that they enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to others. ...
Preprint
This study explored the ethics of provisioning wildlife to enhance tourist interactions at a whale shark tourism site in Oslob, Philippines. TripAdvisor comments (n=947) and tourist surveys (n=761) were used to better understand tourists’ perceptions of whale shark provisioning in Oslob. The ethical decisions made were then critically assessed using utilitarian and animal welfare ethical philosophies. The majority of respondents supported whale shark provisioning, despite many being aware of the ethical complications of provisioning sharks for tourism purposes. Respondents justified their participation in this activity using mainly economic, human enjoyment, and animal welfare arguments. A utilitarian assessment of the potential costs and benefits of this activity highlighted the gaps in our knowledge regarding the economic and social benefits of this activity, as well as the negative impacts on the sharks’ welfare. Until such analyses are completed, significant ethical questions remain regarding the provisioning of these sharks.
... For wide-ranging impact backed by the state's authorities and laws, understanding is required on the part of the decision-makers, who in most cases have not been persuaded by the scientific community to foster shark conservation, despite well-founded arguments for the ecological importance of sharks to the marine ecosystem (Clua et al., 2011). Policymakers, who are generally non-specialists, are seldom aware of the conservation and management policies that are available, and which might work best (D'Alberto et al., 2017). ...
... Ocean and Coastal Management 178 (2019) 104847 problem include a licensing system for tourism operators and a code of conduct, as used for example in Ningaloo Marine Park, in Western Australia, for whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) (Hacohen-Domené et al., 2015). Another potential solution is the creation of marine protected areas around shark diving locations, as was done at Guadalupe Island and the Fiji Shark Reef (Clua et al., 2011). One solution is to determine a separation distance between divers to sharks. ...
Article
Shark tourism is a new concept that has not yet been recognized in Israel. While the principles and regulation of shark tourism in particular and wildlife tourism in general are developing rapidly worldwide, in Israel we are only at the very beginning of this process. The aggregations of sharks near the power plant in Hadera (in the middle-northern part of the Israeli coast) are a source of interest and attraction for many people, including swimmers, divers, and kayakers. The desire of tourists, and therefore of local businesses as well, to take part in this amazing and profitable phenomenon poses certain risks, in view of the lack of regulation in the area. In this study we analyse the ecological-socioeconomic consequences of shark tourism as well as the risks of visitor pressure for the environment. Our observations suggest that human divers might disturb the sharks and influence behavioral changes. We call on decision makers to regulate the area have least ecological damage so that the sharks can live with minimum disturbance while allowing some reasonable amount of wildlife tourism.
... The ecological role of sharks in pelagic ecosystems has been evidenced in several studies but is rarely described at an ocean-wide scale (Kinney & Simpfendorfer, 2009;Lew, 2015;Murphy et al., 2018). The economic value of alive sharks goes nonetheless far beyond the extractive value of fishing reported above: One may add the nonconsumptive use value of ecotourism associated to shark diving, which is present in many studies (Cagua et al., 2014;Clua et al., 2011;Davis & Tisdell, 1999;Davis et al., 1998;Pires et al., 2016;Vianna et al., 2011;Zimmerhackel et al., 2019), other use values such as the film industry or research (Haas et al., 2017), but also indirect use value through the regulation of the whole ecosystem (Kinney & Simpfendorfer, 2009), and nonuse values such as the existence, option (possible uses in the future such as genetic inputs) and bequest values for future generations (Grafeld et al., 2016;Skubel et al., 2019). If the marginal damage of accidentally fishing a silky shark cannot be the sum of all these values, because some uses represent alternative choices (e.g., shark diving vs fishing), others could be very well aggregated (tourism, ecosystem regulation, existence value, etc.). ...
... Some authors go then further by valuating an individual price of an alive shark over its life span, amounting to $180,000 per year in Palau, and therefore nearly $2 m over 16 years with a discount rate of 5% (Vianna et al., 2012). Another study reported an individual value by shark of $316,699 annually (Clua et al., 2011). When comparing these huge amounts to the market price of shark consumed as food stated in previous section (e.g., approximately US$70 for a 20-kg shark marketed as fresh or chilled meat in 2018), conservation looks like a much better option for society. ...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem-based management is widely recognized as the path to achieve sustainability of ecosystem services. Tuna Fisheries Management Organizations have incorporated an ecosystem approach into their mandate, but their decision-making process essentially relies on individual stock assessments. This study investigates possible unintended consequences of management measures that primarily focus on single target species. In 2016, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) adopted a plan for rebuilding yellowfin tuna stock. We examined the impacts that this measure might have had on the fishing strategy of purse seine fleets and on silky shark mortality, their main elasmobranch bycatch. The economic dimension of this possible ecological impact was also explored. Logbook and observer data from the French fleet, coupled with IOTC data from Spain, Seychelles and Mauritius, were used. After the implementation of the measure, an increase on the number of fish aggregating device (FAD) sets and an expansion of the fishing effort were observed. These resulted in a 35% increase on silky shark bycatch for the French fleet and a 18% increase for all fleets combined. Based on the estimated catches, the mean forgone consumptive value of silky shark bycatch was evaluated at US$ 1.6 million. Taking the conservation value into account, the social cost of this forgone ecosystem service could increase up to USD 14 million. This work is a first exploration into to the socioeconomic dimension of trade-offs between the use of FADs in tuna purse seine fisheries and shark bycatch and can be applied to other FAD-associated species.
... Local communities benefit from ecotourism attractions through both an increased numbers of visitors and longer stays. From economic estimates, the evidence on tourist spending has shown higher daily and per-trip expenditure by tourists interested in shark diving, compared to other tourists [6,10,[14][15][16][17]. ...
... In fact, as a rule, economic estimates of shark watching underscore the higher value of live sharks, compared to dead sharks, for the local economy. Even fishers, if they are properly informed and engaged in tourism activities, will be seen to benefit either directly or indirectly [16]. Furthermore, the literature suggests that, rather than competing with the shark diving industry by exploiting sharks, fishers may increase their earnings by supporting ecotourism (for instance by supplying fish to restaurants) [17]. ...
... In the case of shark-diving tourism, socio-economic studies have been conducted at many scales, providing an overview of the contribution of shark-diving industry to regional and national economies (e.g. [79], [78], [17,26,31,36,44,48,66,67,63,77]. Industry-wide valuations and economic assessments are well established within the scientific literature; however, inconsistencies in methods among studies and time lags among estimates may limit the ability to compare and combine studies to provide global estimates for the industry [27]. ...
... The total economic contribution generated by the shark-diving industry in the Azores was estimated as USD $ 1,035,189, which is significantly lower compared to other small-island industries in the world such as Fiji (USD $ 42 million), Palau (USD $ 18 million), French Polynesia (USD $ 5.4 million) or Fernando de Noronha in Brazil (USD $ 2.6 million) ( Table 6, [17,48,66,67]). This could be mainly explained by the number of divers (1007) and the observed short shark-diving season, but most critically that the Azorean shark-diving industry has recently emerged (started in 2011), and that tourism is still burgeoning in the archipelago [5,69]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Shark-diving tourism is an emerging industry in the Azores Islands. However, this industry directly competes with fishing, as both exploiting the same highly migratory shark species. This study quantifies the commercial value of the Azorean shark-diving industry based on a survey of dive tourists and local dive operators and the potential of this industry to further generate funds for implementation of direct conservation actions. The economic contribution of the shark-diving industry to the regional economy of the Azores in 2019 was estimated to be just over USD $ 1 Million. The results of a spiked censored interval data model of contingent valuation indicated that implementation of an extra conservation fee per dive trip, to be paid by dive tourists, could potentially yield over USD $ 103,000 per year to be used for management and enforcement of a proposed MPA for sharks around the dive sites. Our analysis suggests that the emerging shark-diving industry in the Azores Islands has potential to grow throughout the Macaronesian archipelago, thereby increasing tax revenues and the number of jobs and income to Azorean local communities, potentially promoting conservation and sustainable use of the shark populations. However, expansion of this industry into a robust contributor to the archipelago’s economy would require a concomitant strengthening of industry regulation, and support by the government, to protect businesses and investments. This could be partially obtained through improving in fisheries management, implementation of a functional MPA and adequate enforcement.
... Mass media also allowed the dissemination of information regarding shark attacks, thus influencing public attitudes . On the other hand, it is now well-known the role of sharks as key species in marine ecosystems and the critical effects their reduction would cause directly to the trophic chain (Ferretti et al., 2008;Clua et al., 2011). The disappearance of multiple species leads to a domino collapse of all the benefits humans can gain from the habitat. ...
... Sharks can also provide cultural services: in some regions of the world, people travel to go cage diving with great white sharks. As stated by Clua et al. (2011): "When a live shark is involved in ecotourism, it has a higher value than a shark that is caught". ...
Article
Purpose The objective of this study is to assess if Italian fish consumers are sensible to shark protection and if they would contribute paying more for small pelagic fishes coming from fisheries that are certified as “shark-free”. Design/methodology/approach Contingent valuation is used to estimate willingness to pay with a double approach, including a dichotomous choice and an open-ended question. Inconsistency between the two answers is allowed. This allows the correction of two sources of bias (i.e. preference uncertainty and anchoring effect) and has permitted that the two estimation methods converged to the same result. Findings Consumers show interest for the “shark-free” label. Premium price is estimated at +26%. Variables affecting willingness to pay (WTP) in the sample are age, income, environmental attitude, knowledge of organic labels and frequency of small pelagics' consumption. Results need to be confirmed by a replication on a larger (probabilistic) sample and with a different distribution of bids. Originality/value Ecosystems provide different benefits to humankind, including non-use services, such as the satisfaction to know that a species is well conserved. Generally, appreciation is higher for what are considered charismatic species. In this paper, the authors investigate if sharks can be considered charismatic species despite their “bad reputation”. The interest in shark survival is measured indirectly using a “shark-free” label on a commercial species like anchovy, allowing to increase the value added of this low-price species.
... In French Polynesia, this was mostly practiced first with small lagoonal shark species for general tourists, then shark feeding during scuba diving among larger shark species increased in Tuamotu and Society islands in the late 1980s and 1990s. The almost guaranteed sightings of large sharks were attractive for local and international divers and became an economic asset (Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011). Due to public concerns and user conflicts, shark feeding is now prohibited in lagoons and close to passages between ocean and lagoons. ...
... Apart from baiting and chumming, most of the operators practice feeding, which is problematic as well (Bruce and Bradford 2013;Gallagher et al. 2015). During the research (Clua et al. 2011) with the sicklefin lemon sharks (Negaprion acutidens) in French Polynesia, scientists found that because of feeding, shark residency significantly increased. It shows that "inbreeding is a potential risk as a result of the reduction of shark mobility, in particular for males. ...
Working Paper
Full-text available
... Comparisons of the consumptive and non-consumptive values of a subset of other marine megafauna (e.g. reef sharks and manta rays) have provided useful information to species management approaches that maximize value to local communities and stakeholders (Anderson, Adam, Kitchen-Wheeler, & Stevens, 2011;Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011;Vianna, Meekan, Pannell, Marsh, & Meeuwig, 2010). Such values have not yet been estimated or compared for S. gigas. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although the economic value of wildlife historically has been attributed to its consumptive use, the global growth of ecotourism has expanded wildlife valuation to include non-consumptive uses. In California, the critically endangered giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) is paradoxically both a flagship species in the recreational dive industry and regularly sold in California's commercial fisheries when incidentally caught. The differences in the economic value of S. gigas to these two key stakeholders - commercial fishers and recreational scuba divers - were explored. The average annual landing value of S. gigas was US$12 600, this value was determined using California commercial fishery landing receipt data. In contrast the estimated average value of S. gigas to recreational divers was US$2.3 million per year. The non-consumptive use value was calculated by approximating the annual number of recreational charter boat divers and determining divers' willingness-to-pay for a S. gigas sighting. Stated landings volumes of S. gigas appear to represent a minimum annual extraction of 2% to 19% of the S. gigas population. Using self-reported fishery catch location data, S. gigas bycatch hotspots were identified and used to inform suggestions for strategic spatial and temporal closures. Overall, these results highlight the value of giant sea bass beyond fisheries and underscore the importance of incorporating non-consumptive values when developing harvest policies and marine management plans.
... Sharks are marine predators that constitute a potential threat to humans and their specific behaviours often play a critical role in triggering fatal attacks (Clua & Séret 2010;Clua & Reid 2013;Clua et al. 2014). Several authors have recently outlined the economic importance of shark-based ecotourism which far outweighs the single-use income obtained from fishing (Clua et al. 2011;Gallagher & Hammerschlag 2011;Vianna et al. 2012). However, the development of such activities increases the potential interactions between sharks and humans and the correlated risk of accidental bites (Brena et al. 2015), in particular when unsuitable provisioning practices such as hand-feeding are implemented (Clua & Torrente 2015). ...
... In contrast, at many shark tourism sites, large pieces of fish are fed to the sharks (Dobson, 2007, pp. 49-65, Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2010, Clua et al., 2011. Such provisioning of animals over long time periods may lead to negative impacts to animals and humans (Brena et al., 2015;Dobson, 2006;Gallagher et al., 2015;Newsome & Rodger, 2008). ...
... For PICTs with tourism capacity, healthy reefs with abundant fish life, sharks and rays may act as a tourism attraction and provide significant income at national and local levels. Shark and ray tourism is important in many PICTs such as French Polynesia and Fiji (Brunnschweiller 2010, Clua et al 2011, and could make a substantial contribution to GDP (Vianna et al. 2012), particularly if expanded in smaller states like Palau, the Cook Islands and Niue. ...
... For PICTs with tourism capacity, healthy reefs with abundant fish life, sharks and rays may act as a tourism attraction and provide significant income at national and local levels. Shark and ray tourism is important in many PICTs such as French Polynesia and Fiji (Brunnschweiller 2010, Clua et al 2011, and could make a substantial contribution to GDP (Vianna et al. 2012), particularly if expanded in smaller states like Palau, the Cook Islands and Niue. ...
... For PICTs with tourism capacity, healthy reefs with abundant fish life, sharks and rays may act as a tourism attraction and provide significant income at national and local levels. Shark and ray tourism is important in many PICTs such as French Polynesia and Fiji (Brunnschweiller 2010, Clua et al 2011, and could make a substantial contribution to GDP (Vianna et al. 2012), particularly if expanded in smaller states like Palau, the Cook Islands and Niue. ...
... For example, snorkeling with humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Tonga generates over USD $5 million annually [9], while divers in the Maldives brought in USD $9.7 million in 2013 to swim with whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) [10]. Diving with sharks has been so profitable that it has helped spur several conservation plans including those in Australia [11], Palau [12], Fiji [13], and in French Polynesia, where each reef shark has been valued at over USD $2.5 million over its lifespan [14]. Using sharks as the centerpiece for wildlife-based tourism stands in stark contrast to using sharks for exploitative purposes, such as for their fins, and represent a way for local communities to capitalize on their local biodiversity in a more lasting and sustainable fashion [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife-focused tourism is often considered as having the potential to play an integral part of threatened species conservation efforts, particularly through financial support. We focused on the direct financing of conservation by investigating tourists’ willingness to pay to snorkel with reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi) at Barefoot Manta, an ecotourism resort in the Yasawa group of islands in Fiji. Our results indicate that 82.4% of people surveyed would be willing to pay a mean value of ~ USD $9.2 (SE 0.9) more than the current cost, a 28% increase. Also, 89% of people surveyed would be willing to pay a mean value of ~ USD $10.2 (SE 0.9) more for a hypothetical scenario where they would snorkel with 50% fewer people, a 31% increase. We also investigated tourists’ willingness to make voluntary donations to the local community above an existing payment of ~ USD $10 that is built into the current snorkel payment of ~ USD $32.5. On average, 91.3% of the tourists interviewed were willing to donate additional funds with an average additional donation of ~ USD $8.6 (SE 0.5) to the community to pay for educational and environmental support, an 86% increase. There were few significant relationships between willingness to pay and demographic factors (including age, income, nationality, education, and others), suggesting that willingness to pay was widely held by the tourist population staying at Barefoot Manta Resort. Together, these results indicate that wildlife-based nature tourism could represent a potential, but not unlimited, income source to fund conservation in the Yasawa group, Fiji islands, and that conservation can arise from partnerships between local communities and the tourism sector.
... Charismatic habitats (e.g., corals) and species (e.g., reef sharks) serve as focal points for local tourism and ecotourism, thereby enabling residents and visitors to enjoy aesthetic and spiritual values of coral reef ecosystems and seascapes. There are several species, such as the sicklefin lemon shark in French Polynesia and the dusky grouper in the Mediterranean Sea, that increase the recreation/tourism value of tropical and temperate reefs (Clua, 2011;Vandewalle et al., 2007;Guidetti and Micheli, 2011). ...
Thesis
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Les zones côtières à travers le monde sont soumises à de fortes pressions dues aux changements climatiques globaux, à la destruction d'habitats ou encore à la surexploitation des ressources marines. Ces différentes pressions peuvent induire des changements rapides d'état des écosystèmes caractérisés par de fortes modifications de la biodiversité, avec des écosystèmes entiers cessant de fonctionner dans leur forme courante. En conséquence, la pérennité des biens et des services écosystémiques produits par les zones côtières n'est plus assurée. Il en résulte des perturbations économiques et sociales évidentes pour les populations dont le mode de vie dépend de manière directe ou indirecte de la biodiversité côtière. Afin d'appréhender ces interactions homme-environnement, l'approche socio-écologique est de plus en plus utilisée pour illustrer le rôle de l'Homme sur la dynamique des écosystèmes marins côtiers ainsi que les bénéfices qu'il tire de ces derniers. Cette thèse a pour objectif principal d'explorer les concepts de l'approche socio-écologique appliquée à la gestion côtière. Ainsi, dans le premier chapitre de cette thèse nous résumons les spécificités, les défis et les enjeux de l'approche socio-écologique appliquée à la gestion côtière. Les chapitres 2, 3 et 4 s'intéressent à l'analyse du système socio-écologique et explorent des scénarios exploratoires d'évolution des principaux services écosystémiques du lagon de Moorea en Polynésie française. Enfin, nous discutons des avantages et des faiblesses de notre approche ainsi que des potentiels d'applicabilité en tant qu'outil de gestion des zones côtières.
... Further development of diving tourism may have potential, with Milne Bay already being an attractive dive-tourism destination. Shark diving, specifically, has also been shown to generate substantial economic benefits in a number of developing countries (Rowat and Engelhardt, 2007;Clua et al., 2011;Cardenas-Torres et al., 2007) and has previously occurred in other parts of PNG. If shark diving tourism was developed in Milne Bay and was seen to generate benefits for specific communities, greater community incentives to conserve shark may evolve within those communities. ...
Article
Small-scale shark fisheries in Papua New Guinea have developed rapidly and are largely unmanaged. While shark species are vulnerable to overexploitation, local fishers who depend on shark fin for income also have limited alternative income options. This implies a difficult trade-off for policy makers between conservation and community welfare. A case study of shark fishing activities in the Louisiade Archipelago of the Milne Bay Province, a major small-scale shark fin producing region, is presented to inform such trade-offs. The region has experienced a significant reduction in available income opportunities due to the recent closure of the local sea cucumber fishery in 2009. While it had been widely assumed that shark fin production and income was likely to have escalated in the region to replace lost sea cucumber income, our model of small-scale shark fin production shows that quarterly dried fin production was in fact, on average, 68 kg higher while the sea cucumber fishery operated (holding all else constant). Furthermore, annual shark fin income is estimated to have fallen by 75% following the sea cucumber fishery closure. Falling prices and a decline in market access resulting from the closure of the sea cucumber fishery appear to be the major drivers of the fall in shark fin production. These factors have been accentuated by the geographical isolation of Louisiade communities, high fuel costs and the low economic returns associated with the sale of shark fin (relative to sea cucumber). The influence of market access on shark fin production is also reflected in the modelled increase in shark fin production (119 kg per quarter on average) that occurred with the introduction of a transport boat in the region. Market access is likely to further improve, particularly if the sea cucumber fishery is reopened and/or shark fin prices increase. Therefore, low-cost, community-based management of shark resources based on the allocation of allowable shark catches to ward communities is recommended. Such an approach takes advantage of the communal characteristics of the local island communities as well as the fishery data collection and monitoring mechanisms that are already being used by the local government.
... Worldwide, almost 600,000 people participate in this activity each year and this number is expected to double in the next 20 years [10]. In many shark-diving destinations, such as French Polynesia [11], Palau [27], Australia [17], and the Bahamas [14], the industry generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue to local and regional economies. In addition, benefits flow to other sectors of the economy through expenses paid by divers for hotels, transport, and restaurants. ...
Article
Shark-diving tourism is a fast-growing industry that provides socio-economic benefits to local communities. This study estimated the economic contribution of the shark-diving tourism in the Maldives by using surveys with dive tourists and dive operators. Direct business revenue from shark divers was estimated to be US$14.4 million. Revenues to local businesses associated with travel expenses of shark divers were estimated to be US$51.4 million. Further economic benefits from shark-diving occurred in form of annual business tax revenues of US$7.2 million and annual salaries to employees working in the diving industry of US$4.1 million. These values were compared with the business revenues from shark-diving in the Maldives in 1992 to assess how the shark-diving industry has changed over time. The results of this study indicate that the business revenues of this industry have almost doubled (when inflation adjusted) over the last 24 years confirming its economic growth and importance for the Maldives. Effective management of shark dive operations is crucial for maintaining the value and sustainability of this tourism industry to improve ongoing conservation efforts for shark populations.
... In terms of shark-specific closures, however, very little research has been published on their ecological impact on shark populations (White et al., 2015) and the socio-economic dependence and responses of fishers to these fishing ground closures. This may be due to the fact that many shark sanctuaries have been established where live sharks have more value than dead ones, and that research has focused largely on evaluating the economic benefits of shark protection for tourism (Brunnschweiler, 2010;Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2011) rather than the potential impacts on fishers. However, if sanctuaries are implemented where they are arguably most needed, that is, in regions with significant shark fisheries, exploring potential effects of closures on fishers' behavior is not only important to ensure the welfare of fishing communities, but also to increase the success of shark protection within the closure and beyond its boundaries. ...
Article
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Fisheries are complex social-ecological systems, where managers struggle to balance the socio-economic interests of fishing communities with the biology and ecology of fisheries species. Spatial closures are a popular measure to address conservation and fisheries management goals, including the protection of shark populations. However, very little research has been published on the effectiveness of shark-specific closures to protect sharks, or their impacts on fisher behavior. Situated within the global center of tropical marine biodiversity, Indonesia’s shark fishery contributes more to the international shark fin trade than any other nation. Here we evaluate the effect of shark-specific closures on sharks and other species of interest, as well as shark fishers’ responses to losing access to their former fishing grounds. We assessed shark diversity and abundance in an open access zone (OAZ) and two No-Take Zones (NTZs) of a Marine Protected Area within the recently established shark sanctuary in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, where sharks have high monetary value as a tourism attraction. Shark abundance was significantly higher in the privately managed NTZs than in the OAZ. Across all management zones, neither zone size, depth nor reef complexity explained variations in shark abundance, suggesting that governance is the main driver of successful shark conservation areas. These trends were also reflected in species targeted by small-scale reef fisheries, including snappers, emperor, groupers, tunas, mackerels, and large-bodied wrasse and parrotfish. Interviews with shark fishers who lost access to their primary fishing grounds when the shark sanctuary was established showed that while most fishers (88%) knew that sharks were protected in Raja Ampat, many were unsure about the purpose of the sanctuary. Few fishers felt that the agencies implementing fishing bans understood their livelihood needs. We found that shark fishers adapted to the loss of former fishing grounds by shifting fishing effort to other locations or diversifying their livelihoods, including illegal petrol transport. While conserving sharks for tourism can be effective, it may inadvertently result in displacing fishing effort to unprotected regions. We propose that effective shark conservation in Indonesia will need to combine strategic spatial protection with efforts to support livelihood security and diversification.
... Ces dernières années, la plongée et l'écotourisme ont connu un essor mondial (Gallagher et Hammerschlag, 2011 ). La pratique de la plongée avec requins et raies est devenue progressivement une alternative économique et écologique à la pêche (Clua et al., 2011; Vianna et al., 2012). Aux îles Marquises, la plongée est peu développée avec l'existence de seulement deux clubs, l'un à Hiva Oa et l'autre à Nuku Hiva. ...
Chapter
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L'archipel des Marquises constitue une zone océanique dotée d'une intense activité phytoplancto-nique dont l'origine n'est pas encore clairement identifiée. Cette abondance de phytoplancton induit une richesse trophique exceptionnelle particulièrement favorable à la présence des grands poissons pélagiques. La pêche industrielle dans la ZEE de Polynésie française est exclusivement le fait des palangriers. La pêche industrielle à la senne est prohibée au sein de la ZEE depuis 1997. Les flottilles palangrières industrielles asiatiques (Japon et Corée) n'ont pu bénéficier d'accord de pêche en Po-lynésie française que pendant une période restreinte de 1988 à 2000. Les rendements de pêche aux Marquises sont deux à trois fois plus élevés que dans les autres archipels. Sur le plan scientifique, le programme de recherche Écotap (1994-1999) a permis d'étudier et de caractériser l'habitat des trois principales espèces de thons dans la moitié nord de la ZEE, en explorant la colonne d'eau jusqu'à − 500 m, par le moyen des pêches à la palangre instrumentée. Ces données scientifiques acquises dans la ZEE de Polynésie française, complétées par les travaux réalisés à une plus large échelle au sein des organisations régionales de pêche (ORP) comme la WCPFC ou l'IATTC permettent de pré-senter une synthèse des caractéristiques biologiques et halieutiques des quatre principales espèces de thon présentes aux Marquises. La synthèse réalisée sur les raies et les requins montre que l'ar-chipel des Marquises constitue une zone d'intérêt majeur pour les sélaciens* avec notamment une densité exceptionnelle de raies manta. La vie pélagique des îles Marquises est foisonnante, comme en témoigne la présence de tous les maillons de la chaîne trophique allant du plancton aux plus grands prédateurs océaniques.
... Viewing whale sharks in their natural setting is a popular tourism activity (Gallagher and Hammerschlag 2011) and the income accrued can create an incentive to manage these charismatic species as a non-consumptive resource (Brunnschweiler 2010;Clua et al. 2011;Vianna et al. 2012). Many countries where whale sharks are found conduct such tourism activities to create income for the local people. ...
Article
Djunaidi A, Jompa J, Nadiarti N, Bahar A, Tilahunga SD, Lilienfeld D, Hani MS. 2020. Analysis of two whale shark watching destinations in Indonesia: status and ecotourism potential. Biodiversitas 21: 4511-4523. Botubarani in Gorontalo, on the northern coast of Tomini Bay and Labuhan Jambu in Teluk Saleh, Sumbawa recently became whale shark tourism destinations in Indonesia. Both sites offer visitors opportunities to interact with whale sharks, either watching from canoes or snorkelling and diving. In this study, we investigated the status and ecotourism potential of whale shark watching as a form of marine wildlife tourism development in eastern Indonesia by examining the existing operations in both sites. Data were collected using questionnaires administered to local community members and visitors to understand their perceptions, and how this opportunity was valued. Secondary data were collected to explore and understand influencing factors. Findings revealed that whale sharks commonly emerge near bagan lift-nets and other interactive areas as a response to the presence of their favorite prey, anchovies, and rebon shrimp. In general, whale sharks most commonly visit bagan lift nets and can be found in the interaction areas in the morning and stay for couple of hours before swimming away to deeper waters. Out of 119 community respondents in Labuhan Jambu village (Teluk Saleh) and Botubarani, Gorontalo, 80.7% knew about the occurrence of whale sharks in their locality. Of the 111 visitor respondents, 67.6% knew about the whale shark watching sites from word of mouth. The study results also suggest a correlation between chlorophyll-a concentration, anchovies, rebon shrimp and whale sharks. Regarding management approaches to this type of tourism, a local community-based management model is strongly recommended, with 87.4% of respondents showing interest in this approach. The roles and responsibility of local government in developing such tourism is very significant, especially with respect to facilitating appropriate competency within the local community throughout training and education, as suggested by nearly 26% of respondents.
... (Fig. 1). These island groups support the largest aggregations of pinnipeds in Australia, leading them to be designated a Conservation Park in 1967 (Baker, 2004;Shaughnessy, Goldsworthy & Mackay, 2015), which was later extended to nonconsumptive values (e.g., Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011). While this research has helped to shift the value of sharks from a fisheries product to an important tourism resource, and in some cases has contributed to the establishment of shark sanctuaries (i.e., Palau, Bahamas) and Marine Protected Areas (i.e., Guadalupe Island, Fiji Shark Reef), other areas of human dimension research, such as studies on user experience, are less prevalent (Gallagher et al., 2015). ...
Article
Management of protected areas is as much about understanding how society values these resources as it is about understanding ecological processes. Yet, in comparison to standard ecosystem monitoring and economic evaluation, social values are frequently overlooked because of the challenge to measure and define them. As marine protected areas are currently the fastest growing protected area type, this article argues the need to incorporate social value assessment in planning and policy decisions to improve ecological and social outcomes. This study surveyed 675 white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) cage-dive participants to investigate how tourists' value the Neptune Islands group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park. Applying a value typology previously used in forests, respondents were able to identify with 13 distinct values. Results demonstrate that tourists hold biocentric, indirect use, and nonconsumptive values of the marine park as most important. The relevance of these results as an indicator of tourists' preference for management decisions is discussed.
... A review by Gallagher et al. [18] found that, until 2014, 47 original research articles focusing on some aspect of the shark-diving tourism industry were published, with 47% of these studies consisting of socio-economic analyses conducted at many scales. These studies generally concluded that, where shark-diving tourism is viable, the economic benefits from shark conservation are potentially larger than what can be achieved by fisheries exploiting the same resources [12,19,21,111]. For example, Cisneros-Montemayor et al. [21] estimated the global value of shark-diving industry to be around USD $ 314 million in 2011, directly supporting around 10,000 jobs. While the accuracy of these estimates has been a source of debate (see [22]), many studies have demonstrated that shark-based tourism has driven shifts in the socio-economic importance of sharks from a fisheries product to a more valuable non-consumptive resource in many tourist destinations around the world [18]. ...
Article
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Macaronesia is formed by some of most isolated oceanic islands of the Atlantic Ocean. This region is typically heavily exploited by fisheries; however, in recent years, marine wildlife tourism has become popular and a shark-diving industry has emerged, potentially presenting an alternative for the sustainable use of sharks. Combining a literature review with interviews with dive operators conducting shark encounters in the Macaronesian archipelagos, we provide an overview of the challenges and conservation potential of shark-diving tourism for these territories. Owing to the regular presence of important shark species for tourism and the growth of the scuba-diving industry, shark-diving has potential to expand over the region. Yet, the overlap between European industrial fishing pressure and shark populations, coupled with the unregulated recreational and artisanal fishing sector in the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, may jeopardize the sustainability of the shark-diving industry. However, the economic benefits for local communities directly and indirectly produced by shark-diving tourism suggest local benefits, fostering stronger shark conservation in Macaronesia.
... The last two and smallest components in the information-flow network were exclusively related to the marine/maritime sectors ecotourism and aquaculture ( Figure 5E,F, respectively). The first included a relevant fraction of papers relating to marine protected areas, and the most connected paper therein discussed the role of iconic shark species in Polynesia-which can be seen, by the local population, as either business partners (i.e., attraction for commercially-exploitable recreational activities) or food resources (#246, [70]). Concerning the aquaculture network ( Figure 5F), the most connected papers were two reviews, one about advancements in seaweed culturing (#60, [71]) and one regarding the use of microalgae to enhance aquaculture sustainability (#34, [72]). ...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated coastal management (ICM) relies on the inclusion of economic issues within marine ecology. To assess the progress of this integration, we applied topic modelling and network analysis to explore the pertinent literature (583 Isi-WoS, and 5459 Scopus papers). We classified the topics of interest (i.e., concepts, approaches, and sectors) that combined ecological and economic issues within marine science, we aggregated these topics in fields pertinent to ICM, and tracked the knowledge-exchange between these fields by using an information-flow network. Main findings were: (i) the high trans-disciplinary fashion of studies about marine protection and of those about commercial fisheries, (ii) the weak interaction between studies focusing on potential biohazards and those about environmental management, (iii) the isolation, in the overall information-flow, of studies about ecotourism and aquaculture. We included in a roadmap all the integration routes we detected within ICM, based on the combination of ecological and economic issues. We conclude that, to improve integration, ICM should: (i) Exploit marine protection as a bridge between ecological and economic concepts and approaches, and between maritime economy sectors, (ii) employ systems ecology to pursue trans-disciplinary investigations, (iii) complement systems ecology with citizen science by means of inclusive economic initiatives, such as ecotourism.
... These islands are visited by deep-water species such as the smalltooth sandtiger shark Odontaspis ferox (Acuña-Marrero et al., 2013), and are surrounded by numerous seamounts and active hydrothermal vents that harbour unique biological communities (P Salinas-de-León, 2014, unpublished data) (Fig. 6). The economic benefits of ecotourism from sharks are far greater than shark fishing (Clua et al., 2011; Gallagher & Hammerschlag, 2011; Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013). For instance, the net present value of the average hammerhead shark at Cocos Island National Park was estimated at $1.6 million, compared to the ∼$200 that a fisherman obtains by selling a dead shark (Friedlander et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Overfishing has dramatically depleted sharks and other large predatory fishes worldwide except for a few remote and/or well-protected areas. The islands of Darwin and Wolf in the far north of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) are known for their large shark abundance, making them a global scuba diving and conservation hotspot. Here we report quantitative estimates of fish abundance at Darwin and Wolf over two consecutive years using stereo-video surveys, which reveal the largest reef fish biomass ever reported (17.5 t ${\mathrm{ha}}^{-1}$ on average), consisting largely of sharks. Despite this, the abundance of reef fishes around the GMR, such as groupers, has been severely reduced because of unsustainable fishing practices. Although Darwin and Wolf are within the GMR, they were not fully protected from fishing until March 2016. Given the ecological value and the economic importance of Darwin and Wolf for the dive tourism industry, the current protection should ensure the long-term conservation of this hotspot of unique global value.
... The species mostly inhabits shallow reefs and sand-flats of atolls and high islands [25][26][27][28] and occasionally non-reef environments 29 . Blacktip reef sharks are the subject of wildlife tourism, for example in Mo' orea, French Polynesia 30 , and they are often encountered by scuba-divers and snorkelers and during wildlife tourism operations targeting other species (e.g., bull sharks in Fiji 31 ; lemon sharks in French Polynesia 32 ; fish feeding in Palau; M. Thiele personal observation). These operations often use provisioning to attract sharks in close vicinity of tourists, which has resulted in accidental bites 33,34 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, the frequency of shark bites is rising, resulting in an increasing demand for shark deterrents and measures to lessen the impact of shark bites on humans. Most existing shark protection measures are designed to reduce the probability of a bite, but fabrics that minimise injuries when a shark bite occurs can also be used as mitigation devices. Here, we assessed the ability of the Ocean Guardian Scuba7 and Kevlar material to reduce the likelihood of blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus, from feeding, and to minimise injuries from shark bites. Sharks were enticed to consume a small piece of local reef fish (bait) placed between the two Scuba7 electrodes with the deterrents randomly being turned on or kept off. In the second experiment, the bait was attached to a small pouch made of either standard neoprene or neoprene with a protective layer of Kevlar around it. The Scuba7 reduced the proportion of baits being taken by 67%, (from 100% during control trials to 33%). Sharks also took more time to take the bait when the device was active (165 ± 20.40 s vs. 38.9 ± 3.35 s), approached at a greater distance (80.98 ± 1.72 cm vs. 38.88 ± 3.20 cm) and made a greater number of approaches per trial (19.38 ± 2.29 vs. 3.62 ± 0.53) than when the Scuba7 was inactive. The sizes of punctures from shark bites were significantly smaller on neoprene with Kevlar compared to standard neoprene (3.64 ± 0.26 mm vs. 5.88 ± 0.29 mm). The number of punctures was also fewer when Kevlar was used (14.92 ± 3.16 vs. 74.1 ± 12.44). Overall, the Ocean Guardian Scuba7 and Kevlar reduced the impact of blacktip reef shark bites. These findings may help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing shark deterring and protective products.
... Socio-Economic Benefits of the EU Marine Protected Areas, including ecosystem services, have been assessed (Russi et al, 2016). Leenhard et al. (2015) referred to the existence of iconic species within MPA's and their contribution to increased recreation/tourism value of tropical and temperate reefs, referring to the study on sickle fin lemon sharks (Clua, 2011). ...
Technical Report
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This report presents the current state of the art of ecosystem services research in the EU Overseas, with focus on Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES), in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy Taget 2, Action 5. Data collection took place through a scientific literature review (published in Sieber et al., 2018) and a consortium member survey conducted from January to June 2019 under the umbrella of the MOVE project.
... Elasmobranch tourism can provide an opportunity for tourism to act as an alternate source of income, and may replace income traditionally gained from commercial and artisanal fishing [4]. In French Polynesia, the individual economic value of sicklefin lemon sharks (Negaprion acutidens) as a tourism commodity far outweighs the one-off payment fishers traditionally received for their harvest [40,41]. The economic potential of elasmobranch tourism is particularly evident for communities within developing countries such as Palau, where elasmobranch tourism contributed over $US18 million to the economy and accounted for 8% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 [41]. ...
Article
Elasmobranch tourism is a rapidly expanding global industry. While this industry can provide community and conservation benefits, it presents risks to target species, environments and humans when inappropriately managed. To ensure appropriate management is implemented, there is a need to identify the prevalence of elasmobranch tourism globally, the types of operations occurring and the controls used to mitigate risk. This study undertook a global literature review to develop an industry activity typology and establish the types of management controls present across elasmobranch tourism operations. In total, 151 unique species-activity-location conditions were identified, with four broad activity types categorised: diving, snorkelling, provisioning and cage diving. Spanning 42 countries and 49 different species, 32% of conditions identified lacked evidence of management. Further to this, many of the prevailing management controls in place (e.g. MPAs, shark sanctuaries, protected species status), were secondary in nature, having not been designed or implemented to manage elasmobranch tourism explicitly. Therefore, avoidable risks are likely widespread throughout the industry. Encouragingly, the application of activity specific management controls is likely to be effective at reducing risks across activity types. The theoretical case studies and management tools investigated herein provide operators and industry managers with guidance on how to reduce risk and safeguard industry benefits. With the elasmobranch tourism industry likely to continue expanding, it is important that appropriate management and regulatory frameworks are in place so that marine wildlife tourism can continue in a beneficial and sustainable manner.
... The study was conducted at Moorea Island (17°30'S; 149°51'W), French Polynesia. The tourism industry has grown rapidly in Moorea (Clua et al., 2011;Leenhardt et al., 2017), and has offered activities including interaction with sharks and rays in the lagoon since the 1980's (Gaspar, Chateau & Galzin, 2008;Kiszka et al., 2016) as well as shark-feeding dives on the outer reef of the North coast (Clua et al., 2010). There are about 100 000 tourists visiting Moorea every year of whom 80 000 (80%) conduct excursions to the ray provisioning in the lagoon and about 15 000 (15%) dive the fore reef shark provisioning sites. ...
Article
While the negative effects of consumptive pressures on marine predators are well established, the effects of increasing non-consumptive activities such as wildlife tourism are still understudied. As such, the long-term effects of the provision of bait on shark behaviour are still unclear. Here, we assessed the effects of provi-sioning using a Control-Impact design on the spatial use and level of residency of the blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus over a 2-year period. We used effect sizes to model the relative changes in residency between provisioning and non-provisioning sites. Sharks showed a high degree of residency and significant changes in their habitat use which persisted overnight while the activity ceased. We suggest that provisioning activities can affect species with high level of residency such as the blacktip reef shark. Further research is needed to better understand how these behavioural modifications can alter the fitness of this species. It is important to adapt shark provisioning activities to limit the induced changes in habitat use.
... Marine wildlife tourism is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors globally and is viewed as an important incentive-based approach for achieving marine conservation goals (Cisneros- Montemayor et al., 2013;Healy et al., 2020;Higham & Lusseau, 2007, 2008. One of the main arguments in support of the continued development of wildlife tourism activities is that these activities can help conserve wildlife and their critical habitats through the provision of alternative economic incentives for local communities dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods (Ballantyne et al., 2009(Ballantyne et al., , 2011Brunnschweiler, 2010;Cagua et al., 2014;Clua et al., 2011;Higham & Lusseau, 2007, 2008Newsome et al., 2004;Orams, 2002;Parsons, 2012;Reynolds & Braithwaite, 2001;, 2002. In other words, marine wildlife tourism can promote the conservation of threatened species by making them worth more alive than dead (Cagua et al., 2014;Catlin et al., 2013;Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013;O'Malley et al., 2013). ...
Article
Wildlife tourism can act as an incentive for the conservation of marine species and habitats. One of the most important outcomes can be a change in the views of participants towards target species and their habitats that may promote more conservation-oriented actions. While a handful of studies have documented the wildlife value orientations (WVOs) of tourists participating in marine wildlife tourism, no studies have explored the WVOs of locals working in tourism. However, it is equally important to understand the WVOs of locals working in community-based tourism, and whether these are linked with changes in locals’ attitudes and behaviours towards marine wildlife and the ocean. This paper assesses the WVOs of locals working in community-based whale shark tourism at four sites in the Philippines, and explores the relationship between WVOs and conservation attitudes and behaviours using a mixed methods approach with a total of 114 structured interviews. Three WVO groups were identified (mixed utilitarian-protectionist, moderate protectionist, and high protectionist) suggesting a WVO continuum. Those respondents with more protectionist views reported more conservation outcomes, including changes in attitudes and behaviours to protect whale sharks. Further, respondents who worked in tourism had more protectionist views than those from a failed tourism site indicating that tourism can change communities by helping locals value their marine resources and incentivizing protection of those resources.
... In French Polynesia, this was mostly practiced first with small lagoonal shark species for general tourists, then shark feeding during scuba diving among larger shark species increased in Tuamotu and Society islands in the late 1980s and 1990s. The almost guaranteed sightings of large sharks were attractive for local and international divers and became an economic asset (Clua, Buray, Legendre, Mourier, & Planes, 2011). Due to public concerns and user conflicts, shark feeding is now prohibited in lagoons and close to passages between ocean and lagoons. ...
... In terms of shark-specific closures, however, very little research has been published on their ecological impact on shark populations (White et al., 2015) and the socio-economic dependence and responses of fishers to these fishing ground closures. This may be due to the fact that many shark sanctuaries have been established where live sharks have more value than dead ones, and that research has focused largely on evaluating the economic benefits of shark protection for tourism (Brunnschweiler, 2010;Clua et al., 2011;Vianna et al., 2011) rather than the potential impacts on fishers. However, if sanctuaries are implemented where they are arguably most needed, that is, in regions with significant shark fisheries, exploring potential effects of closures on fishers' behavior is not only important to ensure the welfare of fishing communities, but also to increase the success of shark protection within the closure and beyond its boundaries. ...
... Sharks are also used as a resource in non-consumptive ways that can lead to conflict with consumptive users. Ecotourism operators are increasingly encouraging communities to reduce or eliminate harvesting of sharks in favor of shark dive operations (Brunnschweiler, 2010;Clua et al., 2011;Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2013). Sharks can have value simply because divers may have a chance to see them (Stoeckl et al., 2010). ...
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Human-wildlife conflicts are a growing phenomenon globally as human populations expand and wildlife interactions become more commonplace. While these conflicts have been well-defined in terrestrial systems, marine forms are less well-understood. As concerns grow for the future of many shark species it is becoming clear that a key to conservation success lies in changing human behaviors in relation to sharks. However, human-shark conflicts are multidimensional, each with different ecological, social and economic implications. Sharks have functional roles as occasional predators of humans and competitors with humans for fish stocks. In addition, and unlike most terrestrial predators, sharks are also important prey species for humans, being a source of animal protein and other products taken in fisheries. These functional roles are complex and often inter-dependent which can lead to multiple kinds of conflict. Shark management for conservation and human safety is also leading to conflict between different groups of people with different values and beliefs, demonstrating that human wildlife conflict can be a proxy for human-human conflict in the marine domain. Sharks are iconic species in society, being both feared and revered. As such human beliefs, attitudes and perceptions play key roles that underpin much human-shark conflict and future work to understanding these will contribute significantly to solutions that reduce conflict and hence improve conservation outcomes.
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Relational values (RV) are values that arise from a relationship with nature, encompassing a sense of place, feelings of well-being (mental and physical health), and cultural, community, or personal identities. With sharks, such values are formed by diverse groups that interact with these animals and their ecosystems, either physically or virtually, whether a scientist, student, fisher, or media-viewer. Further, these user groups may overlap or come into conflict over management plans, media portrayals of sharks, and their conservation status. Although scientists have not explicitly aimed to assess RV through sharks, qualitative studies of shark fishers, tourism operators, tourists, and the public, as well as historical and archeological accounts, can be interpreted through an analytical lens to reveal values which can also be defined as relational. To this end, this review considers studies capturing RV alongside those of economic value (increasingly, the value of a shark is appraised by their financial value in shark tourism) and the social and cultural roles of sharks. Based on these studies and the broader RV literature, we then outline a workflow for how RV can be leveraged in scientific inquiry, equitable resource management, and education. We conclude that via collaborative assessments of RV, with implicit inclusion of multiple values of sharks and by acknowledging their importance to all parties involved in user conflicts, the RV framework can lead to a constructive dialog on polarizing conservation and management issues. By illuminating shared values, and/or revealing dichotomies of values ascribed toward certain areas or objects, this framework can provide inroads to mediation, seeking to conserve or even restore relationships with nature, and their derived values as much as is possible. This approach can yield unexpected knowledge, solutions, and compromises in an increasingly complex conservation landscape.
Article
Marine protected areas (MPAs) effectively improve the biomass and diversity in heavily exploited marine systems, but often fail to reach their full potential because they require more space, time, and consistency of regulation. Recently, shark-based tourism, which utilises some of the remaining shark strongholds as tourism hotspots, has brought about increased awareness to exploited reef systems. In Fiji, specifically, shark diving companies include local community members in their operations to promote better understanding of their reefs. We seek to investigate whether seemingly denser shark populations during feeding times influence community composition and structure. Visual census data were collected from 50-m belt transects at four different reefs in Fiji: two MPAs with shark-based ecotourism with food provisioning, one MPA without shark-based ecotourism, and one unprotected area without shark-based tourism. Paradoxically, indices of evenness and diversity were highest in the non-protected site. However, there was significantly higher fish abundance and species diversity within reserves than outside of reserves. Within reserves, sites with shark feeding had lower fish abundance and higher richness, diversity, and evenness. Mean trophic level was highest at sites with shark feeding. Use of chum increased average fish abundance and diversity within shark-dive sites. These results indicate that there are evident differences between MPAs that do and do not offer trophic supplementation for shark-based ecotourism. Thus, tourism may be facilitating a shift of ecosystem composition in such areas. Furthermore, the results suggest that feeding methods may augment the impacts of shark-based tourism on the reef at large.
Chapter
Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) tourism is a highly controversial, iconic niche form of shark tourism that forms part of the nature-based adventure tourism or wildlife tourism market. As such it straddles hard adventure, nature-based adventure as well as marine ecotourism. Great White shark cage diving tourism in South Africa started in the early 1990s and has expanded tremendously. The chance for people to observe and appreciate Great Whites, combined with opportunities to support local communities, along with focused educational initiatives means that this alternative to consumptive uses of wildlife could assist with the long-term preservation of sharks. In addition, it may have a positive impact on the attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of the public with respect to sharks. However, this type of ‘up close and personal’ wildlife tourism which involves ‘close encounters’ with wild animals and marketed as a type of ‘enhanced client experience’ is not unproblematic. The negative impacts on animals in general range from physiological stress; behavioural changes, as well as overall declines in health status, birth rates and even mortality. Thus, this type of wildlife tourism is highly controversial and cannot be left unmanaged. This chapter provides an overview of Great White shark tourism around the world. It explores the geographical location of in-water Great White shark tourism, and then locates the Gansbaai, South Africa industry within the international one. It concludes that South Africa offers a product that is significantly cheaper than any other location. It also hosts many more tourists. Nevertheless, the South African industry is a highly vulnerable one, with the loss of regular Great White sightings between 2016 and 2018 taking a heavy toll on the industry.
Chapter
In the Pacific Island region, marine resources make vital contributions to food security, livelihoods and economic development. Climate change is expected to have profound effects on the status and distribution of coastal and oceanic habitats, the fish and invertebrates they support and, as a result, the communities and industries that depend on these resources. To prepare for and respond to these impacts—and ensure the ongoing sustainability of marine ecosystems, and the communities and industries that rely on them economically and culturally—it is necessary to understand the main impacts and identify effective adaptation actions. In particular, declines in coral reef habitats and associated coastal fisheries productivity, more eastward distribution of tuna and impacts of more intense storms and rainfall on infrastructure are expected to present the greatest challenges for Pacific communities and economies. Some species of sharks and rays, and aquaculture commodities with calcareous shells, will also be impacted by habitat degradation, ecosystem changes, increasing temperature and ocean acidification. The projected declines in coastal fish and invertebrate populations will widen the gap between fish needed by growing human populations and sustainable harvests from coastal fisheries, with shortages expected in some nations (e.g. Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands) by 2035. There will also be a need to diversify livelihoods based on fisheries, aquaculture and tourism because some of these operations are expected to be negatively affected by climate change. In some cases, building the resilience of Pacific communities to climate change will involve reducing dependence on, or finding alternatives, vulnerable marine resources.
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Sharks occupy unique roles in human society: objects of conservation campaigns, fishery and tourism resources, maligned predators inciting fear in beach-goers, and subjects of inquisitive scientists. There are more than 1250 species of sharks and their relatives, which have persisted on Earth in some evolutionary form for over 420 million years and now occupy countless environments - from arctic waters and tropical coral reefs, to deep seabeds and inland rivers. Sharks range in size from 20 centimeters (the dwarf lanternshark) to 20 meters (the whale shark), performing an array of functions in their natural habitats and in human society. For conservation purposes, sharks have generally been framed as having either intrinsic or instrumental value, that is value simply by merit of their existence or value for the sake of human use. This presentation will examine them in terms of relational values - that is, human values derived from a relationship with sharks, such as self- or community-identity, moral obligation to conserve non-human species, notions of well-being, and stewardship. We propose that efforts to rebuild or sustain shark populations through regulating human activities are more likely to succeed through assessing and considering relational values of all stakeholders, and mediating conflicting value frameworks (e.g., fishers versus environmentalists). We also discuss how relational values through sharks have manifested in the scientific community, fishers, indigenous groups, tourists, and the public, the unique roles held by each in ‘valuing’ sharks, and how policies targeting these groups’ behavior are well suited to include relational value assessments.
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Feeding wildlife for the purpose of tourism is a contentious issue with for and against arguments being raised by tour operators, non‐governmental organisations, researchers, and managers. Despite this situation, there is a growing trend in the feeding of marine wildlife to guarantee visitors an exciting up‐close experience. This review investigates the scope and key findings of research conducted on the impacts and social aspects of tourism related wild fish feeding. This systematic quantitative literature review identified 58 peer‐reviewed articles on feeding wild fish for tourism. Of those articles, 35 (60%) reported on ecological impacts on the fish. Only 14 articles explored fish feeding tourism from a social perspective, and of those only 9 (15%) investigated the perspectives of visitors. This review highlights that the impacts and management of complex human‐wildlife interactions, such as feeding wild fish, are case and species specific. The impacts of feeding wild fish for tourism include changes in species distribution and behaviour, negative health effects, increased predation of some fish species, and risk of injury to tourists. There is less research on social aspects such as visitor attitudes and satisfaction with fish feeding operations. Further studies are required on visitor demand and interests, and the ecological implications of provisioning to ensure the scenarios in which fish feeding occur are sustainable, maximizing the tourism experience while minimizing negative impacts on fish populations. It is important that progress is made towards developing appropriate codes of conduct and nationally and internationally accredited standards of practice.
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Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) tourism is increasingly popular wherever the species occur, including a fledgling industry on the South Atlantic island of St. Helena. We interviewed 154 people to elicit the social and economic value of whale shark tourism on the island. Additionally, 77 survey participants were queried about their willingness to pay, 32% of those responding indicated that they would be willing to pay at least £10 more, a 20% increase from existing charges. Tourists also supported the concept that the local population should pay less for whale shark snorkel tours. Perceptions among visitors and locals were that the marine environment was well managed on St. Helena and that protecting it was important. Results from this study could help inform St. Helena Government policy and support MWT operators on the island to further develop a sustainable and equitable whale shark tourism industry.
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Shark feeding is a controversial recreational activity that may alter shark behaviour. In order to investigate possible behavioural changes at the level of the individual, it is necessary to recognise each shark underwater and in a non-intrusive way. In this study, we tested a protocol based on natural marks on fins, and coloured spots and scars on the body to differentiate individual sicklefin lemon sharks. We found that a feeding group, aggregated for 26 months at a northern location off Moorea Island, comprised 32 animals (19 females and 13 males), identified from 2589 observations made over 541 dives. Post-dive photo-identification of individual sharks was a reliable technique, whereas a high level of skill was required to ensure an instantaneous identification underwater. However, direct underwater identification of individual sharks can be of potential use in shark behavioural studies.
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The impact of fishing on chondrichthyan stocks around the world is currently the focus of considerable international concern. Most chondrichthyan populations are of low productivity relative to teleost fishes, a consequence of their different life-history strategies. This is reflected in the poor record of sustainability of target shark fisheries. Most sharks and some batoids are predators at, or near, the top of marine food webs. The effects of fishing are examined at the single-species level and through trophic interactions. We summarize the status of chondrichthyan fisheries from around the world. Some 50% of the estimated global catch of chondrichthyans is taken as by-catch, does not appear in official fishery statistics, and is almost totally unmanaged. When taken as by-catch, they are often subjected to high fishing mortality directed at teleost target species. Consequently, some skates, sawfish, and deep-water dogfish have been virtually extirpated From large regions. Some chondrichthyans are more resilient to fishing and we examine predictions on the vulnerability of different species based on their life-history and population parameters. At the species level, fishing may alter size structure and population parameters in response to changes in species abundance. We review the evidence for such density-dependent change. Fishing can affect trophic interactions and we examine cases of apparent species replacement and shifts in community composition. Sharks and rays learn to associate trawlers with food and feeding on discards may increase their populations. Using ECOSIM, we make some predictions about the long-term response of ecosystems to fishing on sharks. Three different environments are analysed: a tropical shelf ecosystem in Venezuela, a Hawaiian coral reef ecosystem, and a North Pacific oceanic ecosystem. (C) 2000 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
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A comparison between the northwestern Hawaiian islands (NWHI), a large, remote, and lightly fished area, and the main Hawaiian islands (MHI), an urbanized, heavily fished area, revealed dramatic differences in the numerical density, size, and biomass of the shallow reef fish assemblages. Grand mean fish standing stock in the NWHI was more than 260% greater than in the MHI. The most striking difference was the abundance and size of large apex predators (primarily sharks and jacks) in the NWHI compared to the MHI. More than 54% of the total fish biomass in the NWHI consisted of apex predators, whereas this trophic level accounted for less than 3% of the fish biomass in the MHI. In contrast, fish biomass in the MHI was dominated by herbivores (55%) and small-bodied lower-level carnivores (42%). Most of the dominant species by weight in the NWHI were either rare or absent in the MHI and the target species that were present, regardless of trophic level, were nearly always larger in the NWHI, These differences represent both near-extirpation of apex predators and heavy exploitation of lower trophic levels in the MHI compared to the largely unfished NWHI. The reefs in the NWHI are among the few remaining large-scale, intact, predator-dominated reef ecosystems left in the world and offer an opportunity to understand how unaltered ecosystems are structured, how they function, and how they can most effectively be preserved. The differences in fish assemblage structure in this study are evidence of the high level of exploitation in the MHI and the pressing need for ecosystem-level management of reef systems in the MHI as well as the NWHI.
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The feeding of marine predators is a popular means by which tourists and tour operators can facilitate close observation and interaction with wildlife. Shark-feeding has become the most developed provisioning activity around the world, despite its controversial nature. Amongst other detrimental effects, the long-term aggregation of sharks can modify the natural behaviour of the animals, potentially increase their aggression toward humans, and favour inbreeding. During 949 diving surveys conducted over 44 mo, we investigated the ecology and residence patterns of 36 photo-identified adult sicklefin lemon sharks Negaprion acutidens. The group contained 20 females and 16 males. From this long-term survey, we identified 5 different behavioural groups that we described as ‘new sharks’ (7), ‘missing sharks’ (4), ‘resident sharks’ (13), ‘unpredictable sharks’ (5) and ‘ghost sharks’ (7). In spite of movements in and out of the area by some males and females, which were probably related to mating, the general trend was that residency significantly increased during the study, particularly in males, showing a risk of inbreeding due to the reduction of shark mobility. Intra- and interspecific aggression was also witnessed, leading to an increased risk of potentially severe bites to humans. Our findings suggest the need for a revision of the legal framework of the provisioning activity in French Polynesia, which could include a yearly closure period to decrease shark behavioural modifications due to long-term shark-feeding activities.
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Over 100 million sharks are killed annually, putting enormous pressure on shark populations worldwide. Sharks have traditionally been considered a detriment to coastal tourism, but since the early 1990s, shifts in attitudes amongst divers have led to growth in the popularity of shark watching as a tourist activity. An estimated 500,000 divers a year find, photograph, feed, and swim with sharks, contributing millions of dollars to local and regional economies. This paper examines whether the economic value attached to shark watching can provide enough incentive to reduce consumptive exploitation levels. Although the economic value attached to shark watching has led to greater protection of sharks in some locations, analysis of available data suggests that incentives do not appear large enough to encourage a significant reduction in fishing pressure appropriate to the scale of threat facing sharks. Growth of the shark watching industry is constrained by a number of factors including perceived risks and benefits, declining shark populations, and government regulations. However, conservation strategies for sharks involving tourism can be envisaged, involving varying levels of non-consumptive and consumptive uses of sharks. Three kinds of interaction between the non-consumptive and consumptive use of sharks are outlined along with implications for shark conservation.
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This paper considers the limits of self‐regulation in the pursuit of sustainable tourism. There is evidence of considerable good practice brought about by self‐regulation in many parts of Europe, and this is illustrated by the example of the Alps. However, even a consideration of the traditional division between individual and social costs indicates the limitations to self‐regulation. The main emphasis of the paper is on exploring how regulation theory can deepen our appreciation of the constraints on self‐regulation.
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Summary • Because of their popular appeal, top vertebrate predators have frequently been used as flagship or umbrella species to acquire financial support, raise environmental awareness and plan systems of protected areas. However, some have claimed that the utilization of charismatic predators may divert a disproportionate amount of funding to a few glamorous species without delivering broader biodiversity benefits, an accusation aggravated by the fact that the conservation of top predators is often complex, difficult and expensive. Therefore, tests are needed of whether apex predators may be employed to achieve ecosystem-level targets. • To test such a hypothesis, we compared the biodiversity values recorded at the breeding sites of six raptor species, differing widely in diet and habitat associations, with those observed at three types of control locations, (i) sites randomly chosen in comparable habitat, (ii) breeding sites of a randomly selected bird species of lower trophic level and (iii) breeding sites of a lower trophic level species with specialized ecological requirements. Biodiversity was measured as the richness and evenness of bird, butterfly and tree species. • Biodiversity levels were consistently higher at sites occupied by top predators than at any of the three types of control sites. Furthermore, sites occupied by top predators also held greater densities of individual birds and butterflies (all species combined) than control sites. • In a reserve-selection simulation exercise, networks of protected sites constructed on the basis of top predators were more efficient than networks based on lower trophic level species, enabling higher biodiversity coverage to be achieved with a smaller number of reserves. • Synthesis and applications. Our results provide evidence of a link between the strategic utilization of top predatory species and ecosystem-level conservation. We suggest that, at least in some biological systems, conservation plans based on apex predators could be implemented to deliver broader biodiversity benefits. Journal of Applied Ecology (2006) 43, 1049–1055 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01218.x
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Impacts of chronic overfishing are evident in population depletions worldwide, yet indirect ecosystem effects induced by predator removal from oceanic food webs remain unpredictable. As abundances of all 11 great sharks that consume other elasmobranchs (rays, skates, and small sharks) fell over the past 35 years, 12 of 14 of these prey species increased in coastal northwest Atlantic ecosystems. Effects of this community restructuring have cascaded downward from the cownose ray, whose enhanced predation on its bay scallop prey was sufficient to terminate a century-long scallop fishery. Analogous top-down effects may be a predictable consequence of eliminating entire functional groups of predators.
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There is a deep need within humans to be in contact with animals and feeding has arisen as a means of achieving this as well as fostering a sense of nurture and even assistance to wild animals. In tourism situations feeding is frequently used in order to enhance visitor satisfaction through delivering a good sighting and close contact as well as through improved opportunities to photograph wildlife. Wildlife feeding activities comprise one or a combination of being inadvertent and accidental, a result of deliberate habitat modification to attract wildlife, unstructured, namely the intentional provisioning of food for wildlife without any form of management or structured where wildlife are deliberately fed via formal supervised arrangement. All of these situations have the potential to have both positive and negative impacts on wildlife. Recognised advantages of intentional feeding can be divided into two categories.The first relates to visitor experience and tourism product while the second involves animal welfare issues. Potential and realised problems associated with the feeding of wildlife include habituation and attraction, disruption of normal activities, increased aggregation of animals at feeding sites and nutritional problems. Management strategies aim to control access, visitor numbers, the nature and quality of provisioned food and the educational value of the viewing experience. Management styles cater for different circumstances and include wild bird feeding operations, wildlife restaurants, structured fish feeding and highly managed dolphin feeding. All of these involve a specific feeding area, controls over the feeding activity and educational programmes. It seems that on, a global scale, birds appear the most suitable candidates for structured feeding operations. Caution must be exercised in developing a feeding situation for tourism purposes and be subject to review in the light of new information on the benefits or otherwise of the feeding situation. Feeding operations should also be based upon the fostering of respect and appreciation of natural values and not entertainment.
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Cartilaginous fish are the oldest animals that generate RAG-based Ag receptor diversity. We have analyzed the genes and expressed transcripts of the four TCR chains for the first time in a cartilaginous fish, the nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). Northern blotting found TCR mRNA expression predominantly in lymphoid and mucosal tissues. Southern blotting suggested translocon-type loci encoding all four chains. Based on diversity of V and J segments, the expressed combinatorial diversity for gamma is similar to that of human, alpha and beta may be slightly lower, and delta diversity is the highest of any organism studied to date. Nurse shark TCRdelta have long CDR3 loops compared with the other three chains, creating binding site topologies comparable to those of mammalian TCR in basic paratope structure; additionally, nurse shark TCRdelta CDR3 are more similar to IgH CDR3 in length and heterogeneity than to other TCR chains. Most interestingly, several cDNAs were isolated that contained IgM or IgW V segments rearranged to other gene segments of TCRdelta and alpha. Finally, in situ hybridization experiments demonstrate a conservation of both alpha/beta and gamma/delta T cell localization in the thymus across 450 million years of vertebrate evolution, with gamma/delta TCR expression especially high in the subcapsular region. Collectively, these data make the first cellular identification of TCR-expressing lymphocytes in a cartilaginous fish.
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The services of ecological systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the Earth's life-support system. They contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet. We have estimated the current economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 18 biomes, based on published studies and a few original calculations. For the entire biosphere, the value (most of which in outside the market) in estimated to be in the range of US$16-54 trillion (1012) per year, with in average of US$33 trillion per year. Because of the nature of the uncertainties, thin must be considered a minimum estimate. Global gross national product total is around US$18 trillion per year.
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Embedded in the ecotourism concept is 'marine ecotourism': ecotourism that takes place in marine and coastal environments. Much marine ecotourism activity occurs in parts of the world that would be considered 'peripheral' in spatial, temporal and economic terms; yet to date no one has attempted to draw together the concepts of marine ecotourism and peripherality. In particular, why might marine ecotourism be considered an especially appropriate strategy for coastal peripheral areas? This paper introduces the concept of ecotourism in the marine and coastal context. It then examines what is meant by the term 'peripherality' and outlines some of the challenges and opportunities it can bring to coastal locations. A particular focus is on the EU's main policy responses to the peripherality dimension of its regional 'problem'. The paper then discusses the potentials and pitfalls of marine ecotourism as a sustainable development option for coastal peripheral areas. A case study of West Clare, Ireland, is drawn upon to give context to some of the opportunities and challenges of ecotourism in peripheral areas. A conclusion is that marine ecotourism can potentially form part - but, realistically, only a part - of an appropriate strategy for addressing the problems faced by coastal peripheral areas. EU Interreg IIc project 'Marine Ecotourism for the Atlantic Area (META-)'
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1. Top-down control can be an important determinant of ecosystem structure and function, but in oceanic ecosystems, where cascading effects of predator depletions, recoveries, and invasions could be significant, such effects had rarely been demonstrated until recently. 2. Here we synthesize the evidence for oceanic top-down control that has emerged over the last decade, focusing on large, high trophic-level predators inhabiting continental shelves, seas, and the open ocean. 3. In these ecosystems, where controlled manipulations are largely infeasible, 'pseudo-experimental' analyses of predator-prey interactions that treat independent predator populations as 'replicates', and temporal or spatial contrasts in predator populations and climate as 'treatments', are increasingly employed to help disentangle predator effects from environmental variation and noise. 4. Substantial reductions in marine mammals, sharks, and piscivorous fishes have led to mesopredator and invertebrate predator increases. Conversely, abundant oceanic predators have suppressed prey abundances. Predation has also inhibited recovery of depleted species, sometimes through predator-prey role reversals. Trophic cascades have been initiated by oceanic predators linking to neritic food webs, but seem inconsistent in the pelagic realm with effects often attenuating at plankton. 5. Top-down control is not uniformly strong in the ocean, and appears contingent on the intensity and nature of perturbations to predator abundances. Predator diversity may dampen cascading effects except where nonselective fisheries deplete entire predator functional groups. In other cases, simultaneous exploitation of predator and prey can inhibit prey responses. Explicit consideration of anthropogenic modifications to oceanic foodwebs should help inform predictions about trophic control. 6. Synthesis and applications. Oceanic top-down control can have important socio-economic, conservation, and management implications as mesopredators and invertebrates assume dominance, and recovery of overexploited predators is impaired. Continued research aimed at integrating across trophic levels is needed to understand and forecast the ecosystem effects of changing oceanic predator abundances, the relative strength of top-down and bottom-up control, and interactions with intensifying anthropogenic stressors such as climate change.
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