‘Million-dollar sharks’ boost Palau tourism
Shark tourism is worth $18 million annually to the Pacific Island nation of Palau according to a new study. Additionally, a single reef shark can contribute almost $2 million in its lifetime to the economy of Palau.
The new study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the University of Western Australia quantified the economic benefits of the shark-diving industry to the Pacific island nation and found that its value far exceeded that of shark fishing. The possession, sale or distribution of shark fins in Paul has been banned since 2009.
AIMS Principal Research Scientist at AIMS Mark Meekan explains "Sharks can literally be a 'million-dollar' species and a significant economic driver.
"Because of their low rates of reproduction and late maturity, shark populations have been driven into a global decline due to fishing. Yet our study shows that these animals can contribute far more as a tourism resource than as a catch target."
Shark diving accounts for about 8% of the tiny Palau's GDP and 14% of its business tax base. It also generates more than a million dollars annually in salaries.
In 2009, the tiny island state became the first country in the world to declare all of its territorial waters to be a shark sanctuary, followed last year by Honduras and The Maldives.
"Shark tourism can be a viable economic engine," said Matt Rand, a shark expert at the Washington-based Pew Environment Group, which commissioned the research.
"This study provides a compelling case that can convince more countries to embrace these animals for their benefit to the ocean and their value to a country's financial well-being."
About a third of open-water sharks face extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Regional studies have shown that when shark populations crash the impact cascades down through the food chain, often in unpredictable and deleterious ways.
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Lander & Rogers' Sports Business Group is the leading sports law practice in Australia, representing over 150 national and international sporting bodies. Our clients include international…read more
Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading developer of virtual group fitness products. Our innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web app. Fitness…read more
Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…read more
Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…read more
Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…read more
As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…read more
Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!