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Management of wildlife tourism is multi-faceted, requiring an understanding of the long-term biological impacts as well as the needs of tourists, industry and other stakeholders. Successful management for the sustainability of wildlife tourism is most likely to succeed under an adaptive management system. The benefits of this type of integrated and holistic approach are widely recognised but rarely adopted in the management of whale-watching. This study examines both the human and animal dimensions of whale-watching by incorporating both social and biological sciences. A framework for management of the New South Wales humpback whale-watching industry based on the findings of this research is provided. This framework aims to maximise the benefits of whale-watching for tourists, industry and conservation while minimising the adverse effects on whales. This study has identified techniques for education, research and vessel management as three fundamental components of sustainable management strategies for the whale-watching industry. Mechanisms by which management, can incorporate all three of these components, are given.

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