cluaOrganizers: Eric Clua/Ian Campbell
Affiliations: CRIOBE – USR 3278 CNRS EPHE UPVD, PSL, Labex Corail, Moorea, French Polynesia/ WWF South Pacific, Fiji
Lead contact: Eric Clua

Description: The fish-watching in the Indo-Pacific, that includes activities such as the shark and ray feeding but also osteichtyen fishes, has been significantly developping for the past centuries. It strongly contributes nowaday to local economies, but its quick development has not always given enough time for the setting up of appropriate codes of conduct and regulations that ensure a long-term sustanability (including the tryptic : animals, economy and human). Some animals are threatened and vulnerable species that can suffer from inadequate practices, deviant behaviors generate can accidents with potential negative impacts on the activities, and local stakeholders do not always financially benefit as expected from these activities, etc. The objective of the session is to strengthen a ‘science for managament’ process that will be two-fold : i) first to make an update about the scientific knowledge that can serve the management of the fish-based ecotourism and then ii) to define the fields to be scientifically investigated for providing the managers with adapted information with regards to the ecological but also economical and human (culture&training, etc.) perspectives.
The expected session would be split into two sub-sessions adressing the issues of animal well-being (ecological and biological impacts) and security and sustanability (economical and human dimensions) respectively. Each sub-session would be structured through a synthesis of the existing knowledge and then a definition of challenges and priorities.

Expected Audience: The audience of this session should gather three groups of people that include i) scientists that are involved in scientific studies, both fundamental and applied, that encompass in particular the observed and potential effects of ecotourism on the biology and ecology of the animals, the link between practices and these effects, the risk assessment and management, the human perception and the role of fishbased ecotourism, etc. ii) NGOs that are involved in the strengthening of sustainable practices aiming at protecting the fauna, insuring financial incomes for local communities, promoting eco-certification, etc. and iii) managers of ecotourism activities in the Indo-Pacific that are seeking for scientific support for improving and implementing appropriate legal frameworks of these activities through benchmarking or anticipation of suitable studies, etc. Countries such as USA (Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan, etc. should provide a good set of researchers that are currently adressing these issues, and an objective will be to support the participation of Pacific senior researchers but also young Pacific students to benefit from the process. Many managers would come from Indo-Pacific Small Islands Developping States that are still processing the legal frameworks of these activities. NGOs would indiferently come from developped and developping countries, which represent an interesting asset for proper lessons learned dynamic. A request for a specific funding allowing managers and young Pacific researchers to participate to the IPFC10 and this specific session will be implemented.