Australian whale shark tourism leads with cutting-edge tracking technology.

February 29, 2024
1 min read


In a study conducted by Murdoch University, cutting-edge tracking technology was used to monitor the effects of whale shark tourism at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. The research found that Australian whale shark tourism leads the world due to its minimal impact on the sharks. Each shark’s exposure to tourists was limited, and encounters only lasted for just over an hour. This study emphasizes the importance of sustainable wildlife tourism practices and serves as a model for the global industry.

Article Summary:

Researchers from Murdoch University utilized biotelemetry devices to track whale sharks and study the impacts of tourism at Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.

The study found that tourism activities had minimal impact on the behavior and movement of the sharks, with exposure to tourists being limited to just over an hour and only comprising 4% of their daily activities.

Australia’s whale shark tourism industry at Ningaloo Reef is considered the gold standard globally, with well-managed practices that ensure sustainability for operators, tourists, and the animals.

The research highlighted the importance of regulating wildlife tourism activities, as practices vary widely across different countries and can have detrimental effects on animal behavior and habitats.

Overall, the study demonstrated that with proper regulation and management, wildlife tourism can be sustainable and beneficial for both animals and the industry, setting a precedent for conservation efforts worldwide.

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