WHAKAMOA TOURISM DESTINATION
Whakamoa is located on the southern side of Bank’s Peninsula. Access to breeding and haul-out sites is restricted, as the surrounding land is privately owned. The study area was divided into two sub sites (Whakamoa Bay and Island Bay). Observations were carried out from the cliffs above the sites (50 m high in Whakamoa, approximately 150 m high in Island Bay).
Fur seals breed in a small embayment (Bull Caves) sheltered by Whakamoa Reef and approximately 10-30 juvenile and sub adult seals haul-out on the reef.
Island Bay is south of Whakamoa Bay and is named for the island situated at its entrance. It is a much larger bay with steep cliffB on both sides making it only accessible by boat. Fur seals breed at two sites near the island: “Two Bulls” and “Ball Rock”.
Kaikoura and Tonga Island were chosen as experimental sites because of the high frequency of tourist encounters the seals receive. Whakamoa was chosen as a control site due to its lack of tourist activity. The control site was chosen so that the responses ofthe seals at the other sites could be compared to a “normal” or relatively undisturbed colony.