|Reference : Southern right whales (Eubalaena australis): a new touristic attraction in the Natura...|
|Scientific journals : Article|
|Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology|
Life sciences : Aquatic sciences & oceanology
|Southern right whales (Eubalaena australis): a new touristic attraction in the Natural Protected Area Bahía de San Antonio, Northeast Patagonia?|
|Cammareri, Alejandro [ > > ]|
|Vermeulen, Els [Université de Liège - ULg > > > Form.doct. sc. (océanographie - Bologne)]|
|Report to the International Whaling Commission|
|[en] Southern Right whale ; Whale watching ; Conservation|
|[en] In Argentina, the southern right whale (SRW Eubalaena australis) was declared a ‘Natural Monument’ in 1984, protecting the species in waters under national jurisdiction. In the Northeast Patagonian province Río Negro, the SRW is being protected since 1997 by the provincial law 3130. Recently in 2006, this province declared the SRW as a ‘Natural Monument’ in the waters under their jurisdiction by the provincial law 4066. With this law, a commercial whale-watching activity was approved and regulated strictly by provincial authorities, as was the first legalization on ‘immersion with whales’ in Argentina. Data on the sighting frequency (SF), group size and group composition of SRWs were obtained during a preliminary study from March 2007 to February 2008 in the Natural Protected Area Bahía de San Antonio (NPABSA), the most touristic coastal town of this Northeast Patagonian province. Data indicate a peak SF in September with an explicit increase and decrease in the months before and after respectively.
The majority of the whales visiting the area were solitary animals (47.7%) followed by non-surface active groups (non-SAG’s; 25%), mothers and calves (M&C; 20.5%) and SAG’s (4.5%). 2.3% of the whale groups could not be classified. Whales in the study area were mainly resting or in a slow travelling behaviour (64%). 22% of the whales were seen socializing whereas only few groups were believed to be engaged in a courtship behaviour (5%). These data might suggest that the area is not a main reproductive area, possibly favouring the region for a whale-based tourism. On the other hand, the unpredictability of their daily presence and the average distance between the whale and the shore raises questions on the viability of such a whale-based business.
|Researchers ; Professionals|
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