The effects of wildlife tourism provisioning on non-target species

Lauren Meyer, Sasha K. Whitmarsh, Peter D. Nichols, Andrew T. Revill, Charlie Huveneers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Marine wildlife tourism is growing in popularity and in the number of studies examining its impacts. These studies focus nearly exclusively on the industry's target species, overlooking a myriad of non-target organisms that may also be affected. Here, the dietary effects of bait and chum input from the white shark cage-diving industry were assessed for eight non-target species from different functional groups (pelagic fishes, reef fishes, and rays), across two sites with different intensity of wildlife tourism, and compared to a control site with no wildlife tourism. Stomach content, fatty acid profiles, and nitrogen stable isotope values revealed site-specific diets for all eight species, consistent with the consumption of bait and chum at both cage-diving sites. However, these dietary shifts were incongruent with the extent of bait and chum input at North and South Neptune Islands. Species within each functional group responded differently to bait and chum, demonstrating the complexity of understanding the effects of wildlife tourism on non-target species. We suggest that appropriate management comprises an ecosystem-approach inclusive of non-target species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108317
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Conservation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Cage-diving
  • Fatty acid
  • Stable isotope
  • White shark


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