Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best Practice
Shark and Ray Tourism Best Practice is detailed in this report, along with a toolkit for tourism operators, local communities and marine conservation groups. The report, produced on behalf of WWF International, Project AWARE and The Manta Trust, was led by TierraMar. The Best Practice Guide and toolkit are designed to help you develop your own specific guidelines by applying global best practice.
About the Best Practice Guide
Shark and ray tourism generates hundreds of millions of dollars globally each year and is growing substantially.1 Businesses around the world provide a variety of activities that allow people to get close to sharks and rays, ranging from boat-based spotting to guided snorkeling, cage viewing experiences and scuba diving. This guide uses the best available science to help operators create shark and ray tourism that is safe, sustainable, and conservation-minded.
This is the first Guide to provide practical, science-based information for shark and ray tourism operators who want to offer the best possible experience to their customers, while conserving species and habitats and making a positive contribution to local communities. It provides guidance, and tools that can be tailored to local circumstances, enabling operators to improve the educational quality, safety, and sustainability of their businesses. It also gives practical information, based on the best available scientific data, to management authorities and others engaging with the industry.
Growth in shark and ray tourism
Shark and ray tourism operations have expanded rapidly in recent decades and in 2011 there were at least 375 well-established operations in 29 countries. Conserving sharks and rays for ecotourism offers a powerful and more sustainable alternative to fishing and can provide income to operators and local communities as well as an economic incentive to create and manage marine protected areas.