Within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park there has also been an increase over the past few years in the number of tourist operators applying for permits to run commercial whale watching activities. In the Whitsunday Islands region, which is already a heavily used recreational and commercial tourism area, dedicated whale watch tours commenced in 1990 and have become more popular each year. In the southern Great Barrier Reef the island resorts among the Capricorn/Bunker Group of islands have engaged in whale watching for many years, but largely as an incidental part of their operations. An increase in the opportunities to view whales for the general public also brings with it the increased potential for harassment of these creatures. This is particularly significant when whale watching is occurring in the critical offshore breeding and nursery areas for these endangered species. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority was aware of the need to discuss with other management agencies the requirement for updated guidelines for whale watching activities, together with a range of other important management issues.
|Publisher||Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority|
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