The Tourism Carrying Capacity of Underwater Trails in Isabel Island National Park, Mexico


Ríos-jara, E., Galván-villa, C. M., Rodríguez-zaragoza, F. A., López-uriarte, E., & Muñoz-fernández, V. T. (2013). The tourism carrying capacity of underwater trails in isabel island national park, mexico. Environmental Management, 52(2), 335-47. doi:

This journal article is titled, “The Tourism Carrying Capacity of Underwater Trails in Isabel Island National Park, Mexico,” and it was worked on by Eduardo Rı´os-Jara, Cristian Moise´s, Galva´n-Villa, Fabia´n Alejandro Rodrı´guez-Zaragoza, Ernesto Lo´pez-Uriarte, and Vicente Teo´filo Mun˜oz-Ferna´ndez.  The problem that they were dealing with was the rapid decline in biodiversity caused by human activities in the marine protected areas of Mexico.  Many SCUBA divers travel to Mexico every year to go see the underwater sights, but they can be harmful to the ecosystems if they are not careful.  Their research question was could ecotourism trails be created and a tourism carrying capacity be figured out in order to protect the biodiversity as well as still allow tourist to dive.  The data that they needed were acts, behaviors, and reports.  They needed to study multiple areas to figure out if an underwater trail could work.  The study area was Isabel Island in the mouth of the Gulf of California.  This location is known for its vast amounts of biodiversity.  They then had to map out underwater trails that would please the tourist, but would also not create a disturbance to the wildlife and habitats.  One of the ways they analyzed their data was by creating a large map.  The map laid out all of the possible diving sites, underwater trails, soft coral, stony coral, opisthobranches, echinoderms, and fishes. To figure out the carrying capacity of the water trails they used a wide variety of mathematical analysis to come up with a possible capacity that benefited the area the most.  They came up with six underwater trails that diving activities did not cause any damage.  This research project took a long time because of all the detail they had to get.  I thought this was interesting because they are working with ecotourism, which is something I would like to do in the future.  In my biodiversity class, we are creating a research proposal grant and we are dealing with ecotourism as well.  This research has showed me that through hard work, biodiversity can be saved and still enjoyed.