Whale watching is a $1 billion USD industry, practised in more than 87 different countries and territories world wide, attracting over 9 million boat and land based participants per year. Total whale watching tourism expenditures have grown from an estimated US$ 504 million in 1994 to an estimated US$1,049 million in 1998 and they are continuing to grow.
Whale watching in the Caribbean
The Caribbean Sea covers 970,000 square miles and includes some of the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean, offering a diverse range of marine habitats to over 30 cetacean species. It is not surprising therefore that the region provides considerable opportunities for the development of whale watching. In fact, the West Indies and Central America have the second fastest growing whale watching industry of all the world's continental regions.
Policies in favour of whaling are incompatible with the development of the whale-watching industry, which provides financial independence to local people.