The Economy of Shark Conservation in the Northeast Pacific: The Role of Ecotourism and Citizen Science

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The Economy of Shark Conservation in the Northeast Pacific: The Role of Ecotourism and Citizen Science

Authors
  • Michael Bear
  • Peter A. Mieras
  • Chris Harvey-Clark
  • Michael Bear
  • Gina Hodgin
  • Boone Hodgin
Type
Book
Journal
Advances in Marine Biology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Sep 24, 2017
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/bs.amb.2017.08.003
ISBN: 9780128123942
Source
MyScienceWork
License
Yellow

Abstract

'Historically sharks have been seen either as a source of income through harvesting, or as a nuisance and danger. The economic value of sharks has traditionally been measured as the total value of sharks caught for liver oil, fins, or meat for consumption. Sharks have also been killed to near extinction in cases where they were seen as a threat to fisheries on other species. This is illustrated by the mass extermination of Basking Sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) in British Columbia. They were seen as a nuisance to fishermen as they got entangled in gill nets during the salmon fishing season. However with the development of the SCUBA diving industry, and ecotourism in general, increased awareness of the role sharks play in marine ecosystems has resulted in changes in how they are perceived and utilized. Despite an ongoing harvest of sharks such as the North Pacific Spiny Dogfish (Squalus suckleyi), sharks now generate economic value through SCUBA diving enthusiasts who travel the globe to see, swim with, and photograph them. The use of digital cameras and other digital media has brought sharks into households around the world and increased awareness of the conservation issues facing many species. This renewed appreciation has led to a better understanding of sharks by the public, resulting in advocates calling for better protections and conservation. In particular, a growing part of the SCUBA diving community wants to contribute to conservation and research projects, which has led to participation in citizen science projects. These projects provide scientific data but also gain ground as ecotourism activities, thus adding to both economic value of tourism and conservation efforts."

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