September 16, 2010 Featured Article Read More →

Shark & ray – potential tourist industry

Extracts from Wildlife Extra News September 2010

Shark and ray watching could bring significant economic benefits to UK coastal communities, says leading independent think-tank nef (new economics foundation).

A joint study with La Universidad de la Laguna (Tenerife) shows that shark and ray watching by divers is bringing millions of pounds into the Canary Islands economy every year, and nef says that similar stories could be told in the UK if better conservation measures are put in place.

Aniol Esteban, head of environmental economics at nef said: ‘This study reminds us that the marine environment is a key economic asset to countries such as the UK. Wildlife tourism in the UK already brings millions to our local economies but much of the marine environment remains an untapped resource that needs to be looked into in more detail.

‘Sharks and rays could be a very exciting starting point to explore the benefits for UK marine wildlife tourism. Better conservation of the marine environment will undoubtedly bring opportunities for UK coastal communities helping them secure longer term income flows and employment.’

Shark and ray watching by divers brings in €17.7 million (£14.5 million) to the Canary Islands each year.
429 jobs are directly attributed to the presence of sharks and rays in the Canary Islands. The UK has 21 types of sharks and 16 of skates and rays in its waters, including the basking shark which is the world’s second largest fish and already supports wildlife tourism activity in the UK.

Posted in: Shark Bites
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