Whale watching more valuable than hunting

Whale watching has mushroomed in recent years into a billion dollar tourist industry that far outweighs the value of whale hunting, according to a report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

  • During the 1990s, the number of people going on whale-watching tours nearly tripled, hitting 10 million to 11 million in 2000.

  • Whale watchers paid more than $300 million for tour tickets last year and far more for land-based costs surrounding the tours, the report says.

  • The industry is growing 12 percent a year, triple the rate of international tourism in general.

  • In contrast, the wholesale value of whale meat sold last year in Japan, one of the last major whaling nations, was put at $32 million.

    By using a tracking network of underwater microphones and human spotters on land, air and sea, tour companies say they have a 98 percent success rate for whale-watching expeditions off the Northwest Pacific coast of the U.S.A.

    Worldwide, whale-watching tours are available in 495 cities, say researchers.

    Source: James Brooke, The Watch for Whales Is Outpacing the Hunts, New York Times, August 19, 2001; Erich Hoyt, WHALE WATCHING 2001: Worldwide Tourism Numbers, Expenditures, And Expanding Socio-economic Benefits, International Fund for Animal Welfare, August 2001.

    For text http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/19/international/americas/19CANA.html
    For IFAW report http://www.ifaw.org/page.asp?unitid=357
    For more on Privatizing the Environment http://www.ncpa.org/pi/enviro/envdex4f.html

    FMF\28 August 2001
  • Help FMF promote the rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom become an individual member / donor HERE ... become a corporate member / donor HERE