The Potential of Whale Watching as an Educational Exercise

Posted on Dec 16 2018 - 10:22pm by Helen Cartwright

Whale watching in Australia has many aspects of education other than entertainment for many. It has been fascinating to watch the whales thrive in their natural habitat but now whale watching has evolved from early times. With the advent of “ecotourism” and its rapid prominence in Australia and the world, the concept of whale watching has helped people of all ages to know more about the sea creatures and how they impact ecology.

whale watching

Whale-watching is usually managed responsibly in several places. The activity has educational, environmental, and other socioeconomic ramifications too for locals who benefit immensely from the same. The locals expand their scientific knowledge to guide visitors and earn their livelihood. One can even survey local whale-watch operations. Check out the best time to go whale-watching in Australia and one could learn more about the life cycles and behaviour of whales, especially when they are in marine-protected sanctuaries that are a win-win situation for all involved.

Support for Whale Appreciation

Whale watching tourism is now estimated to generate nearly $2 billion worldwide and deliver employment to about 13,000 people. All industries and enterprises support local businesses for introducing whale watching as an educational exercise, for the benefit of coastal communities, whose live encounters help in the appreciation and study of whales and their personal environment. This is important in all whaling countries where whale watching provides an income alternative to the ruthless hunting of whales and dolphins.

The vast enchanting marine world includes sea life species that are already facing the danger of extinction and the need for conservation should be highlighted in different ways. Whale watching offers a complete real experience of observing such marine animals in close proximity and understand their ecosystem. The tour can be enriching for kids and teaches them natural history. The local communities and scientific teams collaborate too for conserving marine life efficiently.

The “educational” whale watching program and tourism

There are many whale watching tour companies who operate in Australia but for a truly educational program, one can include a naturalist’s service onboard. The floating “whale universities” also offer an outstanding whale watching experience to enthusiasts with the help of infographics, displays, hydrophones and the like.  

Whale watching has grown rapidly and impacted tourism in varied forms. The income and jobs generated through these programs by whale watching have fostered a sense of pride about whales and dolphins. For whale-watching to be the mode of education and public awareness, the messages need to be accurate and scientific as per naturalists. The messages should not be preachy but entertaining enough to be part of the whale-watching excursion and a means to protect the marine environment.

Recent case studies of the costs and benefits of whale watching have ensured that responsible activities have a huge educational element to foster an appreciation for marine life in its natural habitat and boost awareness of conservation needs. The long-term financial rewards also add to the educational and social benefits. Whale watching vessels, on the other hand, serve as valuable platforms for data collection on the entire whale or dolphin distribution, the use of habitat, the role of photo-identification and the like. The partnerships are fruitful between whale watch tour operators and scientific researchers that has led to several scientific papers as a result of whale watching vessels.  Additionally, whale researchers aboard hold eco-tours for the advanced communities who continue to contribute in varied ways to sustain marine life with cost-effective access and activities. The entire scenario is dependent on the conservation and care of whale habitats to ensure their natural behaviour is maintained always.

Helen Cartwright
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About the Author

Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-write for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and