Chapter 28: Watching and swimming with marine mammals: international scope, management and best practice in cetacean ecotourism
Since the Stone Age, humans have had a long-standing fascination with marine mammals. They have often been associated with mythology or folklore, attributed close connections to the gods with shape shifting powers, including the ability to take human form, and even being direct ancestors to humans. Such connections are still evident in the native cultures of Alaska and the Northern American continent (Baird, 2002). Marine mammals, particularly dolphins, also had and in some cases still do have close associations with fishermen, for example, herding fish into fishermen’s nets (Hall, 1984). There are even more amazing documented stories of Killer whales (Orca) assisting the herding of migrating whales for the whale hunters of Eden on the southeast coast of Australia from the 1840s to the 1930s (Davidson, 1997). In some parts of the world hunting of marine mammals continues with the use of modern vessels or traditional hunting practices (Cunningham, Huijbens & Wearing, 2012; Moyle & Evans, 2008).
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