Go whale watching
The most effective way to help whales is to enjoy a whale watch trip. Choose a whale watch with an educator or naturalist onboard, and do a little research to ensure it is a well-regulated operator. As well as offering the opportunity to see whales close up in their natural environment, whale watching provides the opportunity to learn more about whales around the world, and specifically about the issues surrounding the population you are watching.
Whale watching is rapidly making coastal communities around the globe a magnet for a growing number of "eco-tourists", who are willing to pay to watch whales in their natural habitat. Whale watching is one of the fastest nature-based tourism activities in the world today. For example, Peninsula Valdes in Patagonia, Argentina supports one of the oldest and largest whale watching industries in the southern hemisphere. Between 1991 and 2004, the number of tourist watching whales in the region increased 450%. In addition to learning more about whales, supporting the whale watch industry contributes directly to sustainable coastal development. The more a region focuses on gaining economic benefits from whales without affecting their populations, the better we are all positioned to learn about the complex interactions between these animals and their ecosystems. This is especially relevant in coastal regions, where so many peoples depend on the ocean that we share. Increased support for whale watching, in turn supports the creation of whale sanctuaries and marine protected areas. This is the best signal to the rest of the world that a region stands for conserving whales and is against hunting them, and in turn, this publicity helps draw more tourists to the whale-watching industries of many countries. A region's commitment to the goal of long-term conservation of marine biodiversity, through the recovery of whale populations is evident by its support of a whale watching industry.