Whales, Divers and The Economy of Dominica all Benefit

When choosing their next vacation destination a couple years ago, Madison Mary’s diving buddy, who is also a whale enthusiast, suggested Dominica specifically because the government resisted pressure from Japan to vote at the International Whaling Commission in favor of commercial whaling.

I met a tourist here in Dominica who said something that made my heart swell to the size of a blue whale's. That’s as big as a Volkswagen Beetle, FYI.

Mary, who lives just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, flew in the same day as my colleague Kara Mahoney Robinson, one of IFAW’s teacher trainers for Floating Classrooms. As they chatted in the van from the airport last Saturday, “Madison Mary” told Kara why she chose Dominica for her vacation: An avid diver who’s logged more than 650 scuba dives, Madison Mary said that what tipped the scales for her was Dominica’s decision not to support Japan’s pro-whaling stance.

When choosing their next vacation destination a couple years ago, Madison Mary’s diving buddy, who is also a whale enthusiast, suggested Dominica specifically because the government resisted pressure from Japan to vote at the International Whaling Commission in favor of commercial whaling.

My jaw hit the ground when Kara reported this to me upon her arrival under the hot afternoon sun. I was astonished and delighted at the same time.

Since then, I have had a chance to talk more with Madison Mary. Turns out this is her second vacation in Dominica, and she made the trip both times without her whale aficionado friend due to scheduling conflicts. But just hearing about this tiny Caribbean nation’s conservation-focused decision made Madison Mary a die-hard Dominica fan.

“I personally feel more passionate about hammerhead sharks, but really I am against cruelty to any kind of animal,” Madison Mary said over breakfast today just before heading out for her morning dive. “Don’t even tell me about any animal suffering, cause I’ll toss and turn all night thinking about it,” she added.

As far as her decision about where to spend her vacation time and dollars, she actually quoted Mahatma Ghandi, the Indian philosopher known for his doctrine of non-violence: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Hear, hear, Madison Mary! Dominica deserves to be your vacation destination.

May its coral reefs and waters continue to serve as a thriving home to whales, dolphins, sea turtles and more marine life.

And may many more tourists be as conscientious and conservation-minded as you, now and for years to come.

--JL

For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to help save whales around the world, visit http://www.ifaw.org

Comments: 1

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

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