Breaking News: Saving whales is an important part of our economy

WDC photographing humpback whales
WDC photographing humpback whales

A new study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, concluded that marine stewardship plays a significant economic role, surpassing even some commercial fisheries and watching whales, well known economic drivers.

The study quantified the value of donations and volunteer time of 45 marine conservation organizations based in Massachusetts including Whale and Dolphin Conservation, North America and found: 

  • Marine stewardship and conservation activities contributed $179 million in a single year to the economy of Massachusetts surpassing the commercial harvest of finfish ($105 million) and whale watching ($111 million).
  • The economic value of environmental stewardship activities are frequently overlooked, ultimately harming coastal ecosystem management decisions and local economies.

Economic value of marine activitiesPrevious work evaluating the economic value of whales has typically been tied only to whale watching and not to the important work of saving whales. This study reinforces that conservation organizations are both environmental and economic drivers and need to be sustained.

“Whales play a role in helping to create a healthy ocean ecosystem on which we rely to breathe, to eat, and to fight climate change” said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, WDC-NA executive Director “and now we have confirmation that the work WDC does to protect whales not only has a direct and significant benefit to whales and the environment, but also to the economy.” 

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