Icewhale whale watching workshop comes to a close

As the Icewhale meeting comes to a close, I find myself having a new appreciation for those that watch whales from boats or shore.  From 349 passengers, high-speed catamarans to a 6-passenger rigid hull inflatable, we operate different vessels.  However the contrast goes much further than simply boat operations, we speak diverse languages, operate in remarkably different weather conditions, and come from very different cultures and backgrounds.  Yet, despite much dissimilarity, we share a common ocean and a strong desire to protect marine life.  Our livelihoods are dependant on living whales.  However the impact reaches far beyond the attendees of this one meeting. Each of us positively impact thousands of people every year, by bringing them to see the world’s largest animals. Additionally, we stimulate economic growth through an expanding whale watching tourism industry which impacts a countless array of hotels and restaurants, as well as the thousands of people employed by these businesses.
Anyone who ever might have even a fleeting doubt, that whaling and whale watching can coexist, would quickly realize the benefits of responsible whale watching reach far beyond any possible benefit of hunting whales.  It's more evident than ever killing whales causes insurmountable damage to the economic growth whale watching brings to an area.

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