Whales: Bigger Business Alive in Latin America

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According to a study by the International Whaling Commission, whale-related tourism brings in 280 million dollars every year to Latin America, making whales big business. In 91 towns in 18 countries, whale-tourism grew 11.3 percent between 1998 and 2006 and in Argentina the growth was between 15 and 19 percent. One of the authors of the study was Argentine researcher Miguel Iniguez, who recognizes the complex management problems presented by such a boost in tourism. 245,000 people come to watch whales here every year, primarily in Patagonia, and making sure that they have positive, eco-friendly experiences is an important part in keeping whaling tourism growing without hurting the whales. The results of the current conference on whether or not commercial whaling should be legal again will certainly affect the future of this profitable industry.

VIA M&G

2 Comments

mc on June 25, 08

I live in Maine and have gone on several whale watching trips. Did I enjoy it? Yes I did but when I got off the boat I was wondering if the whales were also watching me and did I meet with their approval? They never said a word the whole trip. I now frequently look over my shoulder to see if a whale is following me. I go to bed burning a whale oil lamp. Does that make me a bad person? mc

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Pete on July 15, 08

Whales, at least in Patagonia, come to the area to give birth to their foals. This means they feel it to be safe and devoid of dangers, even of the tourist kind. Nevertheless it would be interesting to get a professional opinion of how all those boats filled with tourists are affecting them. They probably just feel we are ourselves giving birth to a whole lot of weird little two-legged animals.

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