Worth of Living Whale

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Mon, 20 May 1994 13:53:06

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Subject: Worth of Living Whale
 
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Subj:	Whales worth more alive...
 
Date:         Fri, 20 May 1994 09:09:50 PDT
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         r.mallon1@genie.geis.com
Subject:      Whales worth more alive...
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
 
 WHALES WORTH MORE ALIVE THAN DEAD - ECOLOGISTS
    LONDON, May 20 (Reuter) - Phenomenal growth in the number of
whale-watching enthusiasts worldwide means that the mammals have
more economic value alive than dead, a leading whale
conservation body said on Friday.
    Estimates of the value of whale tourism were published by
the British-based Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)
ahead of next week's International Whaling Commission (IWC)
meeting in Mexico.
    ``Whales are worth more alive than dead,'' the WDCS said in
a statement. ``Today more than four million people are hooked on
watching whales and dolphins, spending over 200 million pounds
($301 million) each year on tours,...souvenirs etc.''
    Ten years ago fewer than one million people went whale
watching, WDCS conservation director Alison Smith told Reuters.
    ``In Japan, the number of whale watchers rose by 75 percent
between 1991 and 1992 and by a further 38 percent in 1993 with
26,579 tourists watching whales,'' the WDCS said.
    The group gauged that if hunters killed the population of 16
Bryde's whales found in Japanese waters around Ogasawara they
would make $4.3 million at 1993 prices.
    If the same pod were preserved for tourism, total revenue
over 15 years would come to around $41.4 million.
    A report by whale expert Erich Hoyt examining the whale
watching industry in the United States, New Zealand, Norway,
Iceland and Argentina showed that whale watching could transform
local economies.
    The potential for growth in South America and the Caribbean
was limitless, the report said.
    The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
has warned that 12 species of great whales and 69 other species
of whales and dolphins are endangered because of the effects of
environmental pollution and whaling.
    ``The world's whales, dolphins and porpoises are threatened
with absolute extinction within the next century unless action
is taken now,'' the EIA said in a statement.
    A proposal to set up an Antarctic whale sanctuary, to be
discussed at the IWC conference, was given further backing on
Thursday when Denmark announced that it was to change its
existing policy and vote in its favour.
    If the sanctuary comes into being commercial whaling in
Antarctic waters south of 40 degrees latitude would be banned
indefinitely.