Whale, dolphin watching major income source for Pacific nations

April 3rd, 2008 - 1:07 pm ICT by admin  

Wellington, April 3 (Xinhua) Whale and dolphin watching is one of the fastest growing industries in the Pacific region, injecting millions of dollars into the small island nations’ economies, Radio New Zealand reported Thursday. The radio quoted a report released Wednesday by the NGO International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) that whale watching is worth 26.7 million New Zealand dollars ($21 million) a year to Pacific nations.

The number of people in the region watching the marine mammals has jumped an average 45 percent each year. The figures exclude data on New Zealand and Australia.

The report said there were just 10,309 whale and dolphin watchers in Pacific island nations in 1998 but that figure had risen to 110,716 in 2005.

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