Sustainable Marine Tourism

Our ‘Sustainable Marine Tourism’ project is the first of its kind in South Africa focusing on the boat-based whale-watching industry. Our research addresses the importance of maintaining a sustainable boat-based marine wildlife watching industry that has the conservation of marine mammals as its priority. Although current regulations are globally perceived as strong, the efficacy of, and compliance with, these regulations has never been measured. This study aims to test these current regulations and ensure they are strong enough and being complied with to protect marine wildlife effectively. By minimising disturbance impacts to cetaceans, the industry will be able to sustain the resource on which it is dependent. The success of the industry is also dependent upon a satisfied customer and a profitable operator, additional aspects that this study aims to assess.

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Our project was split into 3 main sections: socio-economic, ecological, and communications/awareness.