Getting a chance to see whales and dolphins up close and personal in their natural habitat is a fantastic experience, from the human point of view. But recent research suggests that whale-watching trips might inadvertently put some species at risk by altering how these animals behave.

A news article in Nature magazine reports, from a meeting of the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) last week:

Most of the speakers at the IMCC meeting agreed that more should be done to protect dolphins and whales from tourists. “Although whale-watching is not as bad as whaling,” says New, “it might be that last piece that pushes a species over.”

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