FYI: October 2001

FYI - October 2001 - Marine News
FYI — October 2001
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Whale-Watching Windfall,, and more
• Part 2: “Green” Flag, On Guard for CO, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

 Elsewhere on the Web

For the first time in history, watching whales could actually be more lucrative than hunting them.

A new report from The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that worldwide, whale watching has grown into a $1 billion industry and in many countries the profits are greater than what commercial whaling would muster. Take Iceland: According to the WWF, between 1990 and 2000 the number of people watching whales grew from 100 to more than 44,000. “Analysis suggests that the economic value of whale watching [in Iceland] may now exceed what would be gained if it resumed commercial whaling,” says Cassandra Phillips, the WWF’s senior policy advisor on whales.

More than 9 million people across the globe went on whale-watching expeditions last year, twice the number that went in 1994, according to the WWF’s “Whales in the Wild” study. Though the trend is certainly more positive for whales than illegal hunting, the group says it could spell a new problem for the mammals. "Care is needed to make sure that the additional boat traffic is regulated and the whales are protected from harassment," the report says. That care includes tighter controls on marine pollution and developing more whale sanctuaries, according to the group.

Although commercial whaling was outlawed 15 years ago (Japan and Norway still hunt whales), seven of the 13 species of great whales are still considered endangered or vulnerable.

It’s amazing what you can learn from the history of water. The U.S. Geological Survey has posted 100 years of water data it collected from a vast network of points across the country. You can now log on to and get free information that will help you predict local floods, forecast abnormal water levels, and pick the best time to take your cruise. You can also check the water quality in 338,000 areas and observe live data from more than 7,000 lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. With a century’s worth of data such as tides and temperatures from more than 1.5 million U.S. water stations, the site will show you information about your area that you probably never knew existed.

ON SHELVES: The Golden Century

Next month as you thumb through PMY’s annual “America’s Top 200 Largest Yachts” issue, you’ll see some marine extravagance that will knock your socks off. But before the issue arrives in your mailbox, check out how the wildly wealthy boaters of yesteryear were spending their money at the boatyard. Ross MacTaggart’s The Golden Century takes you back to 1830, when the first private motoryacht was reportedly commissioned. From there he surveys how the elite commissioned and maintained enormous vessels, from Jay Gould’s Atalanta to Sir Thomas Lipton’s Erin. Countless books have traced the history of old-time sailboats, but only a few have focused exclusively on these first great powerboats. The book is also packed with more than 250 black-and-white images that capture a long-gone era of boating.

$45, hardcover. W.W. Norton & Co.

6-8. The Long Island In-Water Boat Show in Freeport, New York. (631) 691-7050
11-14. The 30th-annual U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. (410) 268-8828
12-15. The Tampa Boat Show in Tampa, Florida. (305) 531-8410
13-21. The 41st-annual Genoa International Boat Show in Genoa, Italy. (39) 010 576-9811
17-21. The International Sail & Power Boat Show in Long Beach, California. (714) 633-7581
25-29. The 42nd-annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center. (800) 940-7642

Next page > “Green” Flag, and more! > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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