3 Apr 2008

Whale and dolphin watching is one of fastest growing industries in the Pacific

12:33 pm on 3 April 2008

A new report says whale and dolphin watching is one of the fastest growing industries in the Pacific, injecting millions of dollars into local economies.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare report shows whale watching is worth 23 million US dollars a year to small Pacific nations.

The number of people in the region watching the marine mammals has jumped an average 45 per cent each year.

There were just over 10-thousand whale and dolphin watchers in Pacific island nations in 1998, but that figure had risen to more than a hundred thousand in 2005.

The figures exclude Australian and New Zealand data, although earlier research showed about 1.6 million people watch whales and dolphins in Australia annually, in an industry worth about 273 million dollars each year.