Forecasting hazardous jellyfish: shifting perceptions from black swans events to white

Edited book (chapter)


Gershwin, Lisa-ann and Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2021. "Forecasting hazardous jellyfish: shifting perceptions from black swans events to white." Marittini, Gian Luigi, Killi, Nurcin and Xiao, Liang (ed.) The cnidaria: only a problem or also a resource?. Hauppauge, NY, USA. Nova Science Publishers. pp. 123-140
Chapter Title

Forecasting hazardous jellyfish: shifting perceptions from black swans events to white

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID2797
Book TitleThe cnidaria: only a problem or also a resource?
AuthorsGershwin, Lisa-ann (Author) and Crowley-Cyr, Lynda (Author)
EditorsMarittini, Gian Luigi, Killi, Nurcin and Xiao, Liang
Page Range123-140
SeriesMarine and Freshwater Biology
Chapter Number5
Number of Pages18
Year2021
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Place of PublicationHauppauge, NY, USA
ISBN9781536197945
Web Address (URL)https://novapublishers.com/shop/the-cnidaria-only-a-problem-or-also-a-resource/
Abstract

We all dream of the perfect vacation: balmy beaches, carefree days, exciting nights. But sometimes the unexpected occurs which can ruin a holiday. Pandemic. Volcanic eruption. Bush fire. Jellyfish invasion. Tourism operators must balance health and safety obligations associated with hazardous events with providing the carefree experience that they are selling to tourists. Too much emphasis on health and safety may dampen the tourists’ enthusiasm, while not enough emphasis may end in tragedy, not to mention legal ramifications. In the business sector, the metaphors of Black Swans and White Swans are useful in conceptualizing threats as either unanticipated or anticipated, respectively, as a starting point for their management. Jellyfish threats in tourism are typically viewed as unpredictable and unmanageable, that is, Black Swans. We argue, however, that it needn’t be this way. We already have reliable and affordable sting-protective swimwear; the gap is in knowing when and where it should be worn. Effective forecasting is the missing link. We use an earlier example from the Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef, which may be retrospectively viewed as a proof-of-concept. A framework for forecasting jellyfish presence can shift the hazard from an unforeseen Black Swan to an anticipated and manageable White Swan. Such a shift will better inform policy and legislative decision-making, as conceptualised as a ‘Wicked Problem’ in our companion chapter in this volume. While not all swans encountered on holiday will always be of the feathery kind, proactive jellyfish management by tourism operators can help avert a Black Swan from manifesting into tragedy, and a White Swan from turning into a loss of confidence.

KeywordsIrukandji jellyfish, Black Swan events, White Swan events, marine stinger management, public health and safety, tourism industry, Australia
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480499. Law in context not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Tasmania
School of Law and Justice
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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