Watching Whales More Lucrative Than Hunting Them
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 23, 2009 9:55 AM CDT
Journalists watches a gray whale during a whale watching tour in Ojo de Liebre lagoon in Guerrero Negro, Mexico, Thursday, March 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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(Newser) – Whale watching generates about $2.1 billion annually, making it far more profitable than hunting the giant mammals, a new report says. Income from whale watching has doubled over the last decade, according to the report, issued by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "Whale watching is clearly more environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial than hunting, and whales are worth far more alive than dead," a rep told the BBC.

The organization is calling on whaling countries like Iceland, which reinstituted hunting in 2006, to switch to watching. But Iceland says the industries can grow together. “Allegations that whaling affects whale watching have proven not to be true,” said a government official. "Whale watching has been growing steadily in the last few years after our resumption of commercial whaling."