The four research approaches listed below are the guidelines used throughout this analysis. They assist in focusing each step of the model and analysis to produce the best overall results and most applicable new routes. The research approach highlights the influencing factors for determining the overlap and identification of vulnerable areas, the development of the MCE models for GIS analysis, the application of these models to this studies specific study area, and the evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the models based on the results. These research approaches are guidelines for applying these models and analysis to other areas of the world with similar conservation problems or concerns.
Objective 1: Identify factors for determining commercial shipping routes while minimizing disturbance to cetacean habitats and marine tourism routes for increasing sighting opportunities.
Objective 2: Develop GIS based multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) and least cost pathway models for identifying routes for commercial shipping and marine tourism.
Objective 3: Apply the GIS based models to the Haro Strait and the Strait of Georgia around the southern point of Vancouver Island.
Objective 4: Evaluate the strengths and limitations of the GIS based models.