Dr. Jessica Aquino, December 2, at 8 pm at Icelandic Seal Center
The concept of ethics of care has moved from its inception as a care between two people to a much broader feminist moral philosophy and public ethics. Ethics of care is about a community that supports us and whom we support. Care is an ongoing process that transcends the idea of environmental stewardship to understand humans as members of a “living web”. Using the ethics of care approach this presentation aims to develop an analytical framework for community development practices in sustainable tourism development. It will answer the research question, what kind of insight does the ethics of care approach reveal about community development practices within sustainable tourism at the Icelandic Seal Center?
The presentation concludes with a discussion about future work.
A new paper was recently published by Cécile M. Chauvat, Dr. Jessica Aquino, and Dr. Sandra M. Granquist. The article’s name is Visitors’ values and perceptions of seal watching management in Northwestern Iceland.
Cécile works for the Natural Institute of Northwest Iceland in collaboration with the Icelandic Seal Center. Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rural Tourism at Hólar University and Tourism Research at the Icelandic Seal Center. Sandra works for the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute and Seal Research at the Icelandic Seal Center. The article, Visitor’s values and perceptions of seal watching management in Northwestern Iceland can be downloaded here. The article is free to the first 50 people.
Disturbance due to tourism may impact the critically endangered population of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in Iceland. Improved seal watching management is a promising strategy for seal conservation. Previous research indicates that the value orientation of tourists can predict acceptance of wildlife management and awareness of the potential impacts of tourism on seals. The goal of this study was to (a) define biospheric and egoistic value orientation of seal watching visitors, (b) investigate how these values correlate with the opinion of visitors towards different management actions and awareness of the potential impact of tourism on seals, and (c) investigate which management actions would be acceptable for visitors. Visitor questionnaires were distributed in NW Iceland (n = 597). Results show that seal-watching visitors, in general, had high biospheric values, low egoistic values, and were open to most management actions suggested in the study. High biospheric values were correlated with acceptance of management actions and awareness of the usefulness of regulations. High egoistic values were correlated with low acceptance of management actions and low awareness of the impacts of seal watching. Results will inform managers on how to optimize management strategies at seal-watching sites in Iceland and elsewhere.
A new population estimate for Icelandic harbor seal and hunting policy advice are available in the project between the Icelandic Seal Center (ICS) and The Marine and Freshwater Research Institute (MFRI). MFRI and ICS recommend that direct hunting of harbor seals remain limited and that improved measures be taken to reduce seal bycatch in net fisheries, to allow the seal population to reach the management threshold set by the government. Additionally, the MFRI and ICS recommend that measures be taken to limit human disturbance of harbor seals where possible, especially during the pupping and molting season from May-August.
The advice is based on the recently completed harbor seal population size estimate conducted by the MFRI, in conjunction with the Icelandic Seal Center. The estimate is based on an aerial census conducted in the summer of 2020.
According to the estimate, the harbor seal population is about 10,300 animals, which is 69% less than in the first estimate in 1980. The estimate shows an increase of 9% over the last calculated estimate from 2018. The results from recent years suggest that the population is fluctuating around a historical minimum. According to the government’s management objectives, the minimum threshold should be 12,000 seals. Since the results of the new estimate are 14% below the threshold, further conservation measures are necessary.
A more detailed description of the 2020 census, divided by regions and compared to previous censuses is available in a new report published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research (Haf- og vatnarannsókir).
The Teaching Academy of the Public University is Established — 11 are Granted Admission
The Teaching Academy of the Public University is Established — 11 are Granted Admission. Among them is Dr. Jessica Aquino, head of the Department of Tourism Research at the Icelandic Seal Center and lecturer in the Department of Tourism at Hólar University.
The role of the Teaching Academy is to strengthen dialogue on teaching and development within and between universities, to support a strong learning and teaching community. The academy is established with the support and encouragement of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture and the membership of all public universities, the University of Iceland, the University of Akureyri, the Agricultural University of Iceland, and Hólar University.
A seat in the Teaching Academy is a recognition given to those teachers who have carried out their teaching and teaching development with unique professionalism, scholarship, and are willing to share their experiences with their colleagues and to the academic community.