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Does Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) Diving Tourism Promote Biocentric Values Within Participants?

Smith, Kirby and Scarr, Mark J and Scarpaci, Carol (2009) Does Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) Diving Tourism Promote Biocentric Values Within Participants? Journal and proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales , 142 (3-4). pp. 31-44. ISSN 0035-9173

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Abstract

In Australia, humans can dive with critically endangered grey nurse sharks (Carcharias taurus) at Fish Rock, New South Wales. This industry has the potential to improve the environmental knowledge of participants and encourage pro-environmental attitudes within tourists. This study surveyed tourists pre and post participation in grey nurse shark dives to ascertain if the experience positively influenced the grey nurse shark knowledge and biocentric attitudes of tourists (short-term). Educational talks were provided to tourists of alternating boat trips to assess if education had a significant impact upon the knowledge and biocentrism of these tourists compared with those that were not provided with a talk. Survey data were collected across eight grey nurse shark dive boat trips from December 2008 to January 2009. Results indicated that those individuals likely to participate in a grey nurse shark dive were generally already knowledgeable and biocentric, hence the scope for further improvement was quite narrow. Significant improvements to the grey nurse shark knowledge and biocentric attitudes of tourists post dive were detected, however the majority of these improvements occurred within tourists already considered to be highly biocentric and knowledgeable pre dive experience. The provision of educational talks significantly improved the knowledge of participants but not their biocentrism. These findings are of importance as they highlight that the contribution the industry may provide to conservation by improving the biocentric attitudes and environmental knowledge of tourists may be minimal. Furthermore, it is important that accurate educational resources are developed and provided to tourists pre and post dive to avoid the development of misconceptions by tourists during grey nurse shark dives.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID19402, grey nurse shark, Carcharias taurus, biocentric, biocentrism, pro-environmental, shark dive, nature-based tourism
Subjects: FOR Classification > 0502 Environmental Science and Management
FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2012 04:11
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 02:25
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/8491
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Citations in Scopus: 1 - View on Scopus

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