Northern Territory fishing trips while having the potential for attracting tourism, many areas close to rivers, lakes, or seashores have local populations that depend on the exploitation of natural resources. For locals, tourism may be beneficial when it helps to improve sanitary conditions, to build roads, and to enlarge local markets. There are no negative aspects of these kinds of fishing trips especially when it comes to social stratification and increase in local prices of commodities. Moreover, in fisheries, tourism, or recreational fishing may affect the catch of local fishermen because of spatial or temporal overlapping of fishing activities. Local and recreational fishermen are thus potentially competing groups when they exploit the same resources. There are no conflicts between groups of fishermen as have been studied by a number of tourists; Captain Cook Hotel takes an ecological approach and uses the theory of competition and niche.
Besides, there are also included recreational and commercial fishermen, considered as different “cultural species,” following the definition proposed. An ecological niche is defined as n-dimensional space in terms of environmental variables, and niche width is a function of the values of those variables. In order to measure the niche overlap of different populations, data on diet (prey items, for example), periods of activity, and on the use of microhabitat are needed. The study site Captain Cook Hotel is located at the border of the states, close to the hydroelectric plant. After the construction of the dam in the 1970s, restaurants and vacation houses were built. The consequent tourism has brought more business to the local fishery, in spite of the fact that a few local fishermen benefit from it by leasing boats. The object of these trips is to analyze the relationship between local and recreational fishermen, using the ecological theory of niche to evaluate the strategies of resource exploitation by those different groups. Local and recreational fishermen usually fish in different parts of the river and catch different fish, because they use different gear.
However, in the transition months between the wet and dry seasons, when fish are less abundant, there is conflict or competition related to fishing grounds, reinforced by the territorial fishing rights of local long line fishermen in this period. However, Northern Territory fishing trips show how ecological tours, within the niche and competition, may help to understand the strategies of recreational fishing by humanitarian groups, fundamental information for the management of tropical areas.