Whale watching is something of a wonder in itself, as you witness the breathtaking beauty of one of nature’s most majestic animals. These mammals are a force to be reckoned with, and it’s a great way to connect to nature by seeing a big mammal in all its glory, swimming through the deep blue and sparkling ocean. As more people have started to become environmentally aware and whale exploitation has come to a halt in many places, whale watching has become a great activity for animal lovers and general people alike, from various coastal communities.
Whale watching has been one of the fastest growing industries for nature tourism since the 1950’s. Whale watching is done in over 80 countries (including Australia), and is estimated to be a $1billion industry , attracting as many as 10 million people annually. The socioeconomic value of these beautiful creatures have been increasing as a great source of tourism, therefore the need for their conservation in the long run has also increased.
Australia has some of the world’s best coastal spots where you can do whale watching, and the number of tourists here for whale watching has increased about 15% annually over the last 5 years. If you compare it with the international whale tourism market, which has a growth rate of only 2.76%. Australia fares so much better because it is a great spot for whale watching. Australia is a host to 1.5 million visitors for whale watching every year, which contribute around $300 million to the economy every year.
Whale watching gives an amazing opportunity to create environmental awareness for the ocean and its habitat. It also is a great platform for marine biologists to do their research in order to come up with ways to protect the ocean’s creatures from being exploited.
There are many places where they are offering great whale watching opportunities in Australia, such as Oz Whale Watching which offers great packages throughout the seasons. These packages normally last about 4 hours, and are a great way to spend your vacation with family, or for a school trip for educational purposes.
It is estimated by researchers that whales are worth more alive than dead, because the whale watching tourism industry generates a lot of revenue, much more than fishing for them. That sounds a bit cold and calculating, but at least the mistreatment of these marine mammals has lessened drastically. In certain parts of the world they are still hunted for the fishing industry.
The whole experience of whale watching is so magical, it’s a jaw dropping moment when one sees a huge whale coming up to the ocean’s surface and breach, showing people some fishy acrobatics. This surfacing behaviour of theirs is a natural way to come up to the surface and breathe, and many times also to play around and communicate with other whales.