7 Apr 2008

Whale and dolphin watching industry in Pacific growing 45 percent each year

3:55 pm on 7 April 2008

A new international study has found that whale and dolphin watching is now worth 21 million US dollars annually in the Pacific region.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has just released a report saying that the industry is one of the fastest growing industries since 1998, at 45 percent growth per annum.

Olive Andrews from the fund says there has been a definite social and economic shift towards conserving whales and other sea life.

She says it shows that people are valuing whales to be worth more alive than dead.

"We've released this report, at a time [when] we've just been having a 3 day workshop in Auckland where we've had 13 countries represented [and] a Pacific Island working group on whale and dolphin watching and we've developed regional guidelines, best practice guidelines for whale and dolphin watching to respond to the growth and development of the industry."

Olive Andrews of IFAW