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TTC Special: Tourism: A great respect for humpback whales

Whale Watching is an ecotourism activity that allows human beings to enjoy one of the longest migrations of marine mammals in the world. Photo: www.amodominicana.com

TTC Service.-When every year ends in Samana, the Dominican Republic whale watching season, both the beautiful animals and humans are satisfied.

Each year 3 to 5 thousand humpback whales return to Bahia de Samana and adjacent waters to give birth and mate for the following year.

From January to March, male whales can be observed fighting for females’ attentions. That is the moment in which, inquisitive, humans observe the maritime mammals, which are the largest animals in the world.

However, a scientific principle of the Dominican tourism industry is to respect these animals when they are in the middle of the most crucial moment of the live. All sorts of antics may be observed under carefully controlled conditions aboard excursion boats staffed by knowledgeable personnel. The humpback whale watching season contrasts because of its extreme caution not only with the tragic slaughter of these animals in other times, but also with the highly criticized shows in aquariums of the world that press practically every hour of the day on other beautiful animals in captivity such as dolphins and killer whales.

“Thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the International Whaling Commission (IWC), Humpback whales along with other species, have received world protection since 1966. However, there is still a long way to go for full recovery. The world population of humpbacks has reached approximately 40,000 or about 30-35% of its original levels”, according to data published in the Dominican press.

Official figures indicate that 30 years ago, when this tourism observation began, little more than 100 people attended each year. In 2016 they surpassed the 55,000 observers. The statistics indicate the benefit of this natural spectacle for the economy of that tourist destination, without harming or intervening in the behavior of that animal species.

In this case the gains are not at odds with respect for nature.

Whale Watching is an ecotourism activity that allows human beings to enjoy one of the longest migrations of marine mammals in the world, since some individuals come from Greenland, Canada, Iceland and the sanctuary of Stellwagen.

“The Dominican government enforces strict whale protection laws and guidelines to ensure the safety and conservation of these wonderful animals. Whale watching can be a thrilling experience for anyone interested in nature and the preservation of our natural resources” is a concept that guides this annual show.

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