Whale Watch operator supports IWDG

17th Apr 2006 New whalewatching operator, WhaleWatch West Cork (www.whalewatchwestcork.com), has recently donated a percentage of last years profits to the IWDG.

Last year, new operator Nic Slocum announced his intention to donate 1% of profits from his new whalewatching business in order to support the work of the IWDG.

There have been a number of unsuccessful initiatives in Ireland along these lines, with donations or levies from whale and dolphin watching operators being used to fund cetacean education and research but none have been realised. Many studies of whalewatching around the world have shown visitors are willing to pay more if a percentage of their money funds research. Operators can then advertise in their literature that they are supporting research and conservation and everybody benefits; research, operators and visitors, who are happy they are contributing to a better understanding of cetaceans and their habitats.

The donation of nearly 500 euro is very welcome and Nic is commended for his new initiative. The IWDG hope other operators will follow his lead to enable us to support the development of marine wildlife tourism in Ireland and continue to make available cetacean sighting and stranding records through this website.

The IWDG are working on a proposal to support the development of marine wildlife tourism in Ireland and encourage a Marine Wildlife Tour Operators Association, where initiatives such as this could be formalised.

Simon Berrow

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