Shark aggregation and tourism: opportunities and challenges of an emerging phenomenon

Z. Zemah Shamir, S. Zemah Shamir, D. Tchernov, A. Scheinin, N. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the last few winters, shark communities have been aggregating near the Israeli Mediterranean coast, at a specific point, near Hadera power station. This unusual phenomenon has fascinated residents, visitors, kayakers, divers, and swimmers. We analyse the effects of this intense human interest on the sharks, using contingent behaviour, in Hadera and in Ashkelon, where sharks are present and there is available infrastructure for their observation. We also report on changes in shark behaviour due to change in tourism intensity. We find a change of about ILS 4.1 million annually for both sites but a larger individual consumer surplus in Hadera, where sharks are currently observable. Touristic intensity crosses the threshold level by about 12% and making the socio-equilibrium sustainable for both humans and sharks would have a social cost of ILS 0.157 million. This paper, which is based on the assessment of conservation values to marine and coastal tourists, raises a need for spatial planning in order to protect this endangered species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-414
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Fahed Hajirat, Mor Hatuka, Alon Peiser and Fadi Sliman for the research assistant they provided. This research was partially funded by the Morris Kahn marine research station and the Department of Marine Biology at the University of Haifa.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Mediterranean sea
  • sharks
  • sustainable tourism
  • travel cost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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