Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Loving them to Death?

The above is of course an extreme example.
But it illustrates the risks of opening up a site to tourism without proper protocols in place. The latest focal point in the never-ending controversy about the ecological implications of Whale Shark tourism, especially in those cases where the Sharks are actually being fed: Oslob, Philippines.

Here's Shawn Heinrich's report, and the video.

I'm obviously totally pro Shark tourism.
But I really can't say it often enough: ecotourism is only as good as the protocols that are put into place - and remember the Anthropogenic Allele Effect?
This is especially true when it comes to those multi-user sites where there is competitive pressure and self regulation tends to fail as a consequence. There, it often implies that the authorities step in with regulations, monitoring and enforcement.
Here's what I believe is an equitable look at another place.

And of course I'm not only talking about Whale Shark tourism - like an old broken record, I'm talking about the whole gamut, from "natural" sites like Hanifaru (!) but also Cocos, the Galapagos and Malapasqua all the way to the baited encounters like Tiger Beach where somebody must now step in and put an end to the ever escalating shenanigans!

And yes, and pigs will fly! :)

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