Tourist Behavior Disrupts Dolphin Activity

November 1, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. prescribe prɪˈskraɪb / (v.) – to propose a rule or plan of action
Example: The Department of Transportation prescribed a number of laws to manage the heavy traffic. 

2. mammal ˈmæm əl / (n.) – type of animal that feeds milk to its young and is usually covered in hair or fur
Example: There are over 5,000 mammal species.

3. dormant ˈdɔr mənt / (adj.) – being at rest
Example: Majority of owl species are dormant during the day.

4. nocturnal nɒkˈtɜr nl / (adj.) – active during the evening
Example: Bats are nocturnal.

5. aerial ˈɛər i əl / (adj.) – taking place in the air
ExampleAerial sports such as parachuting are common these days.


Read the text below.
The ban on swimming with dolphins may soon take effect in Hawaii.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Fisheries has prescribed restrictions on tourist interaction with Hawaiian spinner dolphins. The proposition entails maintaining a 50-yard distance from the marine mammals in territories along the islands of Maui /ˈmaʊ i/, Lanai /lɑˈnɑ i/, and Kahoolawe /kɑˈhoʊ oʊˈlɑ weɪ/ where the dolphins are visible during the day. 

Classified under the genus Stenella, spinner dolphins are approximately six to seven feet long with an average weight of 59 to 77 kilograms. Their skills include leaping and making repeated circular spins using their body. They are active at night and remain dormant during the day.

Since spinner dolphins continue swimming even when asleep, some tourists are unaware that they are disrupting the mammals’ sleep cycles. Tour operators also tend to exploit the predictable behavioral patterns of these nocturnal dolphins. Susan Pultz, chief of conservation planning and rule-making for the National Marine Fisheries Service, affirms that the dolphins have been exhibiting a change in behavior by avoiding people, increasing aerial activity, and departing bays with high human activity.

However, the said ban could pose a threat to Hawaii's tourism industry, which currently has an average of 8 million visitors per year. Interacting with the dolphins has turned into a means of entertainment for tourists, who would spend on tours in dolphin-frequented spots. 

Tourist behavior has become a pressing concern for the management of vacation sites. In China, two peacocks were killed at a zoo after tourists reportedly took photos with them, pulling out their feathers in the process. Most people speculate that the shock these birds experienced led to their death.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the ban on swimming with dolphins would greatly affect Hawaii’s tourist rate? Why or why not?
·         How can the government of Hawaii ensure strict implementation of and compliance with the proposed law?

Discussion B

·         In what ways can we maintain a high tourist rate without harming animals?
·         Do you think it is okay to feature animals as tourist attractions? Why or why not?

November 1, 2016