Benefits of whale watching to local communities

Whale watching that is managed responsibly has important educational, environmental, scientific and other socioeconomic benefits. Local guides trained as naturalists expand scientific and local knowledge. Scientific programs of several research organizations have flourished because of relationships with their local whale-watch operations. Also, data collection onboard whale watching platforms has been instrumental in scientists' efforts to learn more about whales’ life cycles and behavior, and have underpinned the establishment of marine protected areas and sanctuaries that benefit people, whales and the environment.

Not only does the industry support local businesses and bring much needed income into coastal communities, but the close-up, live encounters help foster an appreciation for whales and the precious environment in which they live. This is particularly important in whaling countries where whale watching provides a viable alternative to hunting whales and dolphins and allows local communities to see these animals in a different light.