WDCS publishes bilingual guide to
Whale Watching and Marine Ecotourism in Russia
||WDCS, working with the Far East Russia Orca Project, has published a
new guide to setting up and promoting marine ecotourism, including
whale watching, in Russia.
The 86-page Whale Watching and Marine Ecotourism in Russia, written by
FEROP co-director and WDCS Senior Research Fellow Erich Hoyt,
demonstrates that commercial whale watching and marine ecotourism
provide an economic alternative to the exploitation of marine wildlife
for hunting or captivity in marine zoos. Whale watching trips can also
offer valuable ship time for research and other scientific support, and
are important for education.
Whale watching currently exists at only a small level in Russia, but
the potential is enormous if the obstacles of infrastructure, extreme
conditions and seasonality can be overcome. Russia is rich in marine
mammals, with 29 species of whale, dolphin and porpoise and 14 species
of seals, sea lions, fur seals and walruses, as well as sea otters and
polar bears. The new WDCS guide presents detailed information on where
these species can be found in every region of the country.
The publication of the guide is timely because the Russian Ministry of
Natural Resources has recently approved quotas for summer 2006 to
capture 6 orcas, 5 bottlenose dolphins, 5 pilot whales, 10 Pacific
white-sided dolphins, and to hunt or capture (mainly kill),1270 belugas
and more than 90,000 seals. The WDCS guide contends that such captures
and kills are unnecessary, unwise, and could threaten the development
of a marine ecotourism industry in Russia.
Author of the new guide, Erich Hoyt said: "In future, whale watching in
Russia could provide income for local people and encourage a long-term
sustainable relationship with the sea."
Whale Watching and Marine Ecotourism in Russia is available in a
bilingual Russian and English edition, to download a copy of the guide,
here (1.9 Mb)