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1. The whale-watching activity

1.1 Whaling versus whale-watching.

The economic importance of whale watching is already much higher than the contribution of whaling during its peak. (Commercial whaling versus whale watching, 2017)

For example, whale-watching is more lucrative for Iceland than whaling. Between 1985 and 1989, until recently the last time whalers put to sea, the annual value of scientific whaling was estimated to be around US$ 3-4million. In 2002, whale-watching generated more than US$ 16million. (Which way - whaling or whale watching?, 2009)

The incredible growth of the global whale watching industry over the past decade provides a detailed analysis of its expanding economic benefits. What began as a seasonal fluke off the coast of California in the 1950s has grown into a vibrant, profitable sector of the international ecotourism market. IFAW study shows more than 13 million people took whale watching tours in 119 countries worldwide, generating a massive $2.1 billion in total expenditures during 2008 (O'Connor 2009). The report also shows huge growth of the whale watching industry in Asia, the Pacific, South America, the Caribbean and Europe, significantly outpacing growth in global tourism in the past 10 years. Growth means work places: more than 3,000 whale watching companies around the world hired around 13,200 people. Globally, the whale watching industry has grown at an average rate of 3.7% per year, comparing with global tourism growth of 4.2% per year in the same period. The industry has grown from one of many activities in tourism market, to one that in parts of the globe has hit the mainstream. (O'Connor 2009)

In the Archipelago of Madeira, like in other regions of the world, marine animals have passed from a hunting resource to eco-tourism's resource. For decades, whales have been killed for their meat, oil and bones. In the region of Madeira, like in other regions of the world, marine animals have passed from a hunting resource to a tourist resource. Whale- hunting activity was developed between 1940 and 1981 years. Sperm whales were its most popular target. During this period around 6000 animals were killed. In 1940 was built first whaling factory in the North coast of the island. Another one was opened in 1942 in the South coast in Calhau do Garajau. In the late 40's Caniçal whale-factory was installed in the eastern point of the south coast and replaced Garajau factory. A network of 8 outlooking points was the basis of the success of hunting activity. The detailed history of whale-hunting in Madeira Island can be found in Madeira Whale Museum which is located in Caniçal.

In 1941 hunting for the sperm whales brought 125312 kilos of whale products and 110827 escudos only from the port of Porto Moniz, including 19 kilos of ambergris. The Portuguese escudo (PTE) is obsolete. It was replaced by the euro (EUR) on 1 January 1999. An EUR is equivalent to PTE 200,482. (, 2017)

Results of whaling industry for the Madeira Archipelago in 1942 are presented in table 1. (Silva and Meneses, 1966).

Table 1. Results of whaling industry for the Madeira Archipelago in 1942.

Name of port Kilos of whale products Escudos

Funchal 977 902 1 411 660

Ponta da Cruz 2 201 2 002

Camara de Lobos 606 199 1 200 961

Ribeira Brava 52 978 75 241

Ponta do Sol 65 723 108 524

Calheta 73 096 116 065

Paul de Mar 74 645 110 063

Porto Moniz 174 849 143 350

Sao Vicente 6 286 14 096

Ponta Delgada 2 196 4 012

Porto da Cruz 6 499 8 836

Machico 148 451 210 723

Santa Cruz 60 179 87 260

Reis Magos 121 280 93 115

Porto Santo 40 615 28 519

Total 2 413 099 3 614 427

Total in euros 18028.70

The international whales' protection process increased in 70's in some countries like USA, England and France (Vera, 2012). Later, in 1986 was implemented a Marine Mammals' protection law.  

After publication of Marine Mammals' protection law (, 2017), whale-watching has been increasing. Nowadays there are more then 12 (see section 3.2.1) conduct this activity in the Archipelago of Madeira, transporting hundreds of passengers every day.

It is difficult to make direct comparisons of the economic benefits of whaling and whale- watching. The peaks of these industries occurred at different times and only a few nations still hunt whales. This study aimed only to provide an estimated direct income of whale-watching industry in 2015 year.

The first and the only study which estimated economic contribution of the whale-watching industry for the Madeira Archipelago was made in 2007 (Ferreira, 2007). During this 10 years, we don't have any statistic information about this field.

The present study focusses on the south coast, were most (or all) the touristic vessels operate.

1.2 History of whale-watching around the world.

Whale-watching as a commercial activity started in 1955 in the south of Californian Coast as a partnership between researcher and a local fisherman (Hoyt, 2009). The industry spread throughout the western coast of the United States over the following decade. In 1971, the Montreal Zoological Society commenced the first commercial whale watching activity on the eastern side of North America, making trips in the St. Lawrence River to view Fin and Beluga Whales. (Hoyt, 2009)

A study prepared for IFAW in 2009 estimated that 13 million people went whale watching globally in 2008. Whale watching generates around 13,000 work places. (O'Connor, 2009) Even places that are still involved with hunting whales recognized the touristic value of marine animals. The industry has grown from its place serving a select niche in the tourism market, to one that in parts of the globe has hit the mainstream. Across the globe, the whale-watching industry has grown at an average rate of 3.7 % per year, comparing well against global tourism growth of 4.2 % per year over the same period. (O'Connor, 2009) While whale-watching is most commonly used as a form of recreation, it also serves as an educational and scientific way to study the species without interfering with their habitat or lives. (, 2017)

The definition of whale watching includes viewing all kinds of cetaceans, including whales, dolphins and porpoises. It is an act of observation animals in their natural habitat (similar to bird watching), when participant standing at the end of the pier or on the deck of a boat with binoculars and cameras, watching marine mammals in their natural habitat (, 2017). It does not include animals in captivity.

W0hale- watching usually involves boat trips, but observations can also occur from land or by air (helicopter or plane). There are several places around the world where whales are very close to the shore, which allows participants to watch from equipped points of view, which are often advertised by local travel agencies  (O'Connor 2009). Observation of whales and dolphins from the land is becoming more and more popular. This takes more patience, but the rewards can be considerable. Generally, it is the ideal way to observe the natural behavior of animals on the surface without disturbing or affecting them. Whale watching on land can be part of an official tour, but the places often have no entry ticket price. (Hoyt, 2003)

A participant of a whale-watching trip is called a whale- watcher. That is the person who decides to participate this kind of activity, usually buying a ticket or tour. (O'Connor 2009) 

1.3 Whale-watching industry in Madeira island.

    The commercial activity of whale and dolphin watching began on the south coast of Madeira in the 1990s. Over the years, this activity has been increasing in the number of companies and operating platforms.

The sea around Madeira Island is very rich in cetaceans. There are 29 species you can find around Madeira (Freitas et al., 2012), which represents about 35% of the worldwide known species (Jefferson et al., 2007).

Example of species sighted in Madeira:

• Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)

• Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis)

• Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

• Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba)

• Short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus)

• Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

• Bryde\'s whale (Balaenoptera edeni)

• Killer whale (Orcinus orca)

• Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

Numbers which were presented by the Museu da Baleia (Whale Museum) and the Institute of Oceanography (Faculty of Sciences of University of Lisbon) reported approximately 58,000 whale watchers in 2007 (O'Connor,, 2009). A study in 2007 estimated that the whale-watching industry involved 1.5 million euros per year in Madeira (Ferreira, 2007). In that year, the fleet was composed of 10 vessels operating year-round mainly along the south of the island of Madeira (Ferreira, 2007). Only two of them were dedicated whale watching operators. Another two companies offered some watching trips between other kind of activities, but other operators tend to see whales in an opportunistic manner (O'Connor,, 2009).

Nowadays the activity is mainly conducted by 12 whale-watching companies in the Madeira Archipelago which have special license for this kind of activity. Eight of them are located in port of Funchal, three are in Calheta and one company is in Porto Santo Island.

These are:

1. VMT Madeira Catamaran Trips (Funchal)

Company works with three catamarans: “Sea the best” with carrying capacity of 98 passengers, “Sea pleasure”- 70 passengers and  “Sea nature” with capacity for 216 passengers and with two decks. Trips are made twice a day with duration of 3 hours, with a strong possibility of spotting whales and dolphins in their natural habitat.

2. Rota dos Cetáceos (Funchal)

Company is directed to the observation of marine mammals. Three speed boats are fully-prepared for comfortable observations. If conditions are good it is possible to swim with dolphins. Company has three RIB boat with a capacity for 12 people each.

3. Ventura | Nature emotions (Funchal)

Company joined the Responsible Whale Watch Partnership “PlanetWhale” and has been collaborating with governmental and non-governmental conservation organizations such as  the “Madeira Whale Museum”, the “Natural Park of Madeira”, or the SPEA.  These 2,5 hours tours are made in RIB boat with a capacity for 12 people. Swimming with dolphins always depends on the specie and animals' behavior. Trips onboard the classical sailing boat Ventura do Mar are made twice a day and take around 3 hours. All trips are guided by a marine biologist.

4. Magic Dolphin (Funchal)

Company offers cruise on stable sailing catamaran. Tours are made twice a day during the winter and three times a day during the summer. Catamaran is well equipped with large lounge with 22 seating places.

5. Bonita da Madeira (Funchal)

Bonita da Madeira is an original caravel, built in 1996, 23 m long and 99 tons and has a passenger carrying capacity of 80 people. Company makes special cruise, which main goal is to find and enjoy the marine life such as dolphins, whales and turtles.

6. Santa Maria do Colombo (Funchal)

Replica of Christopher Columbus's flagship “SANTA MARIA” makes cruises twice a day along Madeiran cost with possibility to observe dolphins and whales. The ship “SANTA MARIA” has a capacity for more than 100 passengers and includes a bar.

7. Gavião (Funchal)

Quality service is aimed to discover the marvels of marine life fauna and the indigenous flora of the island. They can take a maximum of 20 passengers. The boat makes twice a day which search for turtles, whales and dolphins off the coast of Funchal and Câmara de Lobos.

8. Seaborn Catamaran (Funchal)

Sea Born is a sailing catamaran with 23 meters long and capacity for 98 passengers. During the trip this is possibility of observing dolphins, whales and turtles in their natural habitat.

9. H2O Madeira (Calheta)

This company makes boat trips twice a day to watch cetaceans. Trips last around 2 and half hours with possibility to swim with dolphins. RIB boat \"Pampero\" has all safety standards and ensuring a very close encounter with the animals with passenger capacity 10 tourists and 2 guide. Departing from and returning to the marina of Calheta.

10. Lobosonda (Calheta)

Lobosonda is a whale watching operator in Madeira since 2003. Company offers two different kinds of trips: with traditional fishing boat which has carrying capacity for 16 people and speed boat which takes 12 people. If weather conditions and animals' behavior are good company makes snorkelling with dolphins in the open ocean.

11. On Tales (Calheta)

On Tales started to do whale-watching trips in 2015 with motor-powered micro yacht that was completely revised, improved and prepared for maritime tourism and traditional fishing boat. Passenger capacity is about 6 people.

12. Mar Dourado (Porto Santo).

Company is located in Porto Santo island. The company is dedicated to nautical and leisure activities, provides boat trips with small RIP boat (maximum 10 passengers) to various spots of the island (caves tours, dolphins and whales observation, snorkeling, underwater hunting and fishing etc.) and different kinds of water sports.

1.4 Legal regulation of whale-watching activity in Madeira.

There is a great need for using laws limiting the whale watching industry. (a practical guide to good practice for marine-based with a particular focus on the Gálapagos, 2008)

Several studies have recorded changes in cetacean behavior in response to whale watching:

• changes in surfacing,

• acoustic,

• swimming behavior,

• changes in direction,

• changes in group size,

• in coordination. (Parsons, 2017)

It can increase an animal's chronic levels of stress, which might have a negative effect on health, reduced reproductive rates and bring an alteration of essential behaviors, such as feeding or resting. Whales could be injured or killed as a result of collisions with whale-watching vessels, especially in areas where with high intensity of traffic. (Parsons, 2017)

 Following what have been done in most developed countries, in Madeira, the whale-watching activity also became legally regulated. This took place in May 2013 by the Dec.-Leg.-Regional 15/2013/M.

This regulation controls the observation of all species of marine mammals, sea turtles and pelagic seabirds in the territorial sea (from the coast to 12 nautical miles) and in the exclusive economic sub-area of Madeira (from the coast to 200 nautical miles), as well as in terrestrial.

This specific legislation includes the definition of operation areas, and its carrying capacity, in order to achieve a balance between the touristic and socioeconomic interests related to the activity and the conservation of cetacean species in the archipelago of Madeira as well as the welfare of the animals observed. (Part of the final -report (with payment request) cetaceosmadeira II, 2013)

    This document has few main objectives:

• to define a set of rules for observation activity;

• to avoid or minimize animals' disturbance;

• to create the management, monitoring and control instruments for the activity;

• to contribute to sustainability and quality of observation activity.

In this way, the interests of the conservation and well-being of animals are reconciled and developed by environmental tourism activities in the region.

  Minimum set of rules for whale-watching activity:

• Boats cannot approach animal more than 50 m;

• Boats are required to approach a whale from a direction parallel to, and slightly to the rear of the animal (figure 2);

• Reduce speed in the distance between 100m and 50 m from animals;

• Stay in the observation area at maximum 10 min;

• No more than three vessels are allowed within 300 m of animals at one time;

• Anytime when animals show signs of disturbance, vessels should move away;

• Vessels are required to keep out of the path of any whale;

• The license is required to realize this touristic activity.

Figure 1. Circuit of correct approach to the animal. (Região Autónoma da Madeira, 2013)

2. Objectives and methodology of the study

2.1 Objectives of this study

    The main goal of this study is to account the economic contribution of whale-watching industry for the Madeira archipelago, to show that whales and dolphins bring huge financial benefits to the community.

    This innovation study sets six points to evaluate the whale-watching industry:

• total whale-watcher participating in the industry in 2015;

• economic contribution of the industry;

• economic contribution of each species, based on literature research;

• economic contribution of an individual whale, based on literature research;

• suggestion of promotion of the whale-watching activity in Madeira;

• identify directions of future work in a field of whale watching activity.

   This study provides an estimate of the economic activity generated whale-watching industry in 2015. This estimate is based on a calculation of the direct economic expenditure on whale-watching trips (purchase price paid by participants). Direct value of whale-watching is only one which can be counted in present study.

   Economists often use an approach to valuing natural resources known as Total Economic Value (TEV). TEV includes valuation of direct use, indirect use and non-use values. Whale watching tourism is an example of a direct use value, and is the only use considered in this report.

    Indirect use values, such as the role whales play within wider ecosystems (as hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, etc.), are difficult to assess and are beyond the scope of this report. Non‐use values refer to the value humans place on knowing that a natural asset exists, even if they never plan to see or use it. People may also value the idea of passing on natural assets to future generations, or having the option to use the asset in the future. Such non-use values are often invoked in conservation discussions, and can be very large. In the case of whales, the non‐use values that people attach to them can be demonstrated by public donations to conservation organizations, which people make regardless of whether they ever plan to actually see whales. Estimating non-use values, while possible, is beyond the scope of this report. (Knowles et. al 2011)

2.2 Study area- the Madeira archipelago.

The Madeira Archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean between 33º 07' N and 32º 24' N latitude and 16º 17' W and 17º 16' W longitude, with a distance of approximately 400 km from the Northwest of the African Continent (Fig. 2). The island has volcanic origin and mountainous topography. The highest peak reaches 1862 m altitude. The Archipelago includes two groups of uninhabited islands (Desertas Islands (~20km Southeast) and the Selvagens Islands (300 km South)) and the main islands of Madeira and Porto Santo (~40 km Northeast from Madeira Island). The main island has an area of 741 km2 (57 per 22 km) with a coastline of 157 km. The Madeira Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has approximately 446 000 km2.  

Figure 2. Distribution of the islands of the archipelago (not including the Savage islands). (Madeira islands, 2016)

This archipelago is characterized by the presence of the Portuguese Current, the Azores Current and Canary Current (Alves, 2013). Continental shelf is not presented, so deep water zone can be reached in short distances from the coastline. From one side, the lack of continental shelf makes marine animals get closer to the coast and to be observed easier, from the other side Madeiran waters give good conditions for resting, socialization and give birth to calves.

Calves are regularly seen, indicating that these waters are used to give birth and breeding. Many marine mammals migrate to give birth to calves. At this moment, they are very sensitive. Intrusive viewing can create stress for mothers and separate mother- calf pairs. Noise from boats creates stress for mammals and may interfere with their hunting and diving behaviors. More than that, direct collision with fast moving boats can kill marine animals. There was a great need for using laws limiting the whale watching industry.  

In order to minimize the stress caused by whale-watching vessels on the observed cetaceans, the MWM proposed a voluntary code of conduct in 2003 stipulating a set of rules for observation. Though voluntary, the code was adopted by the majority of the companies in the sector and was the basis of legislation created by the Regional Government (Decreto Legislativo Regional n.º 15/2013/M - Regulamento da Atividade de Observação de Vertebrados Marinhos na Região Autónoma da Madeira). (Part of the final -report (with payment request) cetaceosmadeira II, 2013) (see section 1.4)

    2.3 Methodology of this study

    For this study few qualitative methods were used consisting of document analysis, client' interviews, active observations and data obtained. During my internship in “Ventura| Nature emotion” I gained a lot of practical experience by doing:

• observation/identification of target species as Atlantic spotted dolphin, common bottlenose dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, Bryde\'s whale, short-finned pilot whale;

• interviewing clients.

    Interviewing was used:

• to define the clients' profile and to obtain opinions and feelings about trip;

• this method can be easy managed and structured during the interview;

• method is easy to compare results.

    400 structured personal interviews were undertaken in the period from April 2016-March 2017. An example of the inquiry form can be found in annex 1.

• Participation in educational briefings, where marine biologist gives detailed information about different species;

• Meeting with representatives of hotels and travel agencies. The main idea of those meetings to present “Ventura| Nature emotion”, give information about products which the company sells. And, of course, to gain selling skills;

• Attending clients in the company's office, where I could get information about tourists, their suggestions and level of satisfaction;

• Meetings with representatives of whale-watching companies to obtain financial data about whale-watching activity from 2015. The step was to assemble a database that contained information about all whale-watching operators in Madeira.

    By combining data from marine observation and whale-watching operators, it was possible to estimate direct economic contribution of the whale-watching industry.

    The document analysis, which was made during the internship, involved a review of the literature and documents relating to the administration and management of whale- watching activity in Madeira. The data sources included government policy documents, government, academic journals and books, and commentary from a range of websites. The content analysis of Internet-based information about whale-watching in Madeira was conducted within an Internet search. The top ten ranked website results from each keyword search were then recorded and analyzed.

3. What is monetary value of the whale?

3.1 What was the whale worth before? Products of whaling.

    Throughout the world, and for centuries, whales have been killed for their meat, oil and bones. The commercial whaling industry boomed in the 18th and 19th centuries, whaling became a highly lucrative business for those involved in hunting, selling and using whale parts. (, 2017) The populations of whales were attacked with such ferocity that some species were reduced by up to 95%. The blue whale was one of the most hunted species, followed by others, such as rorquals, right whales and sperm whales.

   Main whale products:

1. Sperm oil

    Oil from sperm whale blubber has particular qualities. One is that it keeps its lubricating qualities in extreme temperatures making it ideal for machines. Another feature is its superb qualities of illumination because it burns very clearly and brightly and without smoke. A byproduct of the sperm oil use was high quality soap.

2. Spermaceti

    Spermaceti is a liquid wax. It is also known as \"head oil\" or \"head matter\" as it was found in the heads of sperm whale. While in the head it is a rose-tinted, semi-transparent liquid that crystallizes after contact with the air. This material was the most valuable product of the whaling industry as it has a high melting quality and burns cleanly and brightly and without odor. The highest quality candles were made with spermaceti. Before its use in candle industry, it was used as a medicinal ointment and as a sizing in wool combing, leather tanning, cosmetics, the garment industry and in the manufacture of typewriter ribbons.

3. Whale oil

    Whale oils were the first of all oils — animal or mineral — to achieve commercial importance. The principle sources for whale oil were right whales, bowhead whales and humpback whales. For whale-hunters, rather than return home without filling the ship with sperm oil, they were to take other whales instead. Whale oil has an ancient history having been used in Europe as an illuminant and a lubricant as well as food. During the 19th century in Europe and America oil was used in the tempering of steel, screw cutting and cordage manufacture. It continued to be used for illumination, especially in the headlamps of miners. By-products of the whale oil were soap and material that was added to spermaceti to improve quality of candle.

4. Baleen or “Whalebone\"

    Instead of teeth, baleen whales have long strips, which hang from the top of their mouths, and which animals use to strain out krill from sea water. Baleen is made of keratin, the same material as in human nails and hair. It was used in a variety of 19th products: corset, fishing poles, hoops for women\'s skirts, umbrella ribs and other tools for which plastic or steel would now be used.

Baleen whales do not have teeth. But the teeth of other whales, such as the sperm whale, would be used in such products as chess pieces, piano keys, or the handles of walking sticks.

5. Ambergris

    Ambergris is a wax-like substance, grey or blackish colour, produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Freshly-produced ambergris has a marine, fecal odour. With time it acquires a sweet, commonly likened to the fragrance of rubbing alcohol. Ambergris is formed from a secretion of the bile duct in the digestive system of the sperm whale. It can be found floating on the sea or on the coast. It is also sometimes found in the dead sperm whales. Scientists have inferred that the material is produced by the whale\'s gastrointestinal tract to facilitate movement of hard, sharp objects that it may have eaten.

Ambergris was used by perfumers, allowing the scent to last much longer. It has now largely been replaced by synthetic ambroxan. But it is still possible to find perfumes with ambergris around the world. This substance has also been used as a flavoring for food and it is considered as an aphrodisiac in some cultures. During the Middle Ages, Europe used ambergris as a medication for headaches, colds, epilepsy, and other diseases. (Museum, 2011) 

3.2 What is the whale worth now?

3.2.1 Overall economic value of whale-watching activity in Madeira archipelago.

    To estimate an economic value of whale-watching activity in Madeira requests were sent to all 12 main whale-watching companies in order to provide the number of tourists in 2015.

    Data were received from 4 operators: VMT Madeira, Ventura| Nature emotion, Lobosonda, and H2O Madeira. Data from the other whale-watching operators was estimated based on local knowledge and visual observation during the internship. Tickets' prices are presented on the official website of whale-watching operators.

The total direct income from the 12 main companies which conduct whale-watching activity in Madeira archipelago in 2015 amounted 4 186 364 € (Table 1). This amount is 2.8 times more than the 1 500 000 € estimated in 2007 (Ferreira, 2007).

Table 2. Results of whale-watching activity in Madeira in 2015.

Whale-watching activity in Madeira in 2015

Number of tourists 129158 passengers

Total direct income 4 186 364 €

    We can therefore mention that the whale-watching is a growing touristic activity in the Madeira archipelago, which involves more and more participants every year.

3.2.2 Relative and direct contribution per each of the most observed marine species in the Madeira Archipelago.

    In a cooperation with Filipe Alves, it was possible to account direct contribution in 2015 per each marine species. His research “Analysis of occupancy patterns and biological factors of cetaceans based on fine-scale data from platforms of opportunity: Madeira Island as a case study” presents relative contribution per each species which was observed during 2005-2015 years in Madeira Island. (Alves et al., 2017) I used the relative contribution found by Alves et al. (for the period 2005-2015) and applied the estimated value from the year 2015.

    Table 3. Relative and direct contribution per each marine species average number between 2005-2015 years.

Species (common name) or taxon Species (scientific name) or taxon Relative contribution, % Direct contribution, €

Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis 22.88 957 840

Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops trucatus 20.71 866 996

Short-beaked common dolphin Delphinus delphis 14.59 610 791

Bryde\'s whale Balaenoptera brydei 12.09 506 131

Short-finned pilot whale Globicephala macrorhynchus 11.59 485 200

Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus 4.01 167 873

Striped dolphin S. coeruleoalba 3.81 159 500

Beaked whale Ziphiidae 2.05 85 820

Bryde\'s whale sp. Balaenoptera sp. 2.04 85 402

Fin whale B. physalus 1.75 73 261

Rough-toothed dolphin Steno bredanensis 0.98 41 026

Oceanic dolphin Delphinidae 0.89 37 259

Risso\'s dolphin Grampus griseus 0.82 34 328

Blainville\'s beaked whale Mesoplodon densirostris 0.52 21 769

Pygmy sperm whale Kogia breviceps 0.36 15 071

Sei whale B. borealis 0.30 12 559

False killer whale Pseudorca crassidens 0.17 7 117

Killer whale Orcinus orca 0.11 4 605

Other species 0.31 12 978

Total 100 4 186 364

   The five most observed species in the Madeira archipelago between 2005-2015 years make 82% of numbers of observations and, consequently, 82% of the economic value. They are based in the waters of Madeira to perform various activities, such as feeding, resting, socializing, reproduction, breeding and calving. These are the most abundant species and most likely to be observed, from the 29 known species for Madeira waters. (Part of the final -report (with payment request) CETACEOSMADEIRA II, 2013)

    These species are:

• Atlantic spotted dolphin,

• Common bottlenose dolphin,

• Short-beaked common dolphin,

• Bryde\'s whale,

• Short-finned pilot whale.


3.2.3 Economic value of an individual whale in the Madeira archipelago.

    Estimating the economic value at the individual level was only possible for the island-associated short-fined pilot whales given that it is the only species for which abundance is known (Alves et al, 2015), as well as the ratio of the island- associated versus the transient animals (Alves, 2013).

    Alves et al. (2015) estimated that 140 (with calculation error 95% and Confidence Interval (CI): 131–151) short-finned pilot whales are island-associated in Madeira Island.

    Direct contribution from short-finned pilot whales, which was estimated in the present study is 485 200 € in 2015 (Table 2). Knowing that 75% of all sightings are from island-associated short-finned pilot whales (Alves, 2013), I used this information to estimate the economic value of each island-associated animal in the Madeira archipelago (Table 3).

    Table 4. Economic value of single island-associated animal for the Madeira Archipelago in 2015.

Species Direct contribution per species in 2015 Number of island-associated animals Direct contribution of island-associated animals Economic value of single animal with CI 131–151 Economic value of single animal, average

short-finned pilot whale 485 200 € 140 (75% of all observations) 363 900 € 2 778- 2 410 € 2 594 €


Like most cetaceans, the short-finned pilot whale is a long-lived mammal. Alves et al. (2015) estimated high survival rates for this species in Madeira, i.e., estimated that the adult island- associated (i.e., resident and regular visitor) whales had a constant survival rate of 0.96 (95% CI: 0.85–0.99). Females of short-finned pilot whales may live up to 63 years. In contrast, males have a maximum longevity of only 46 years (Alves, 2013). Medium lifetime for both males and females is 54.5 years.

So, a rough estimate indicates that each island-associated short-finned pilot whale during his life may result for Madeira economy 54.5*2594=141 373 € of direct income, excluding inflation rate, tourism activity growth and other indicators.

4. Promotion of whale-watching activity in Madeira.

   In 2015, tourism continued to be a key driver of the global economic recovery, and a vital contributor to job creation, poverty alleviation, environmental protection and multicultural peace and understanding across the globe.  By the annual report of The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) over one billion tourists travelled internationally in 2015. This reflects a 4% growth or an increase of 50 million tourists that travelled to an international destination during the year. Prospects for 2016 remain positive, with international tourist arrivals expected to grow by 4% worldwide. (Del Rosario et al., 2016)

    It is important to catch the wave of worldwide growth of tourism. In this study, I took the opportunity to develop a strategy of promotion of whale-watching activity in Madeira (see section 4.2).

4.1 Promotion as a process.

    Promotion is a process made to inform potential clients about product, sharing with them its most attractive and innovative points. Mechanism called “word of mouth” is the main channel of promotion offers higher yields for small business at a lower cost. On the other hand, it is important to remember an increasing number of independent tourists who organize their own trips not only basing on personal recommendations from friends and family members but basing to the wide availability of information in Internet.  

    Tourism product has few special characteristics:

• Intangibility: Product cannot be inspected, touched or seen before purchase. The only guide for consumers is information from published material, such a brochures, posters and web pages.

• Heterogeneity: The inherent nature of the tourism product bringing together elements from all over the world creates an information problem. The industry is essential fragmentary and lacks standardization, a problem stemming from competition within the industry which impinges upon tour operators, travel agents and ultimately consumer (Organization, 2011).

• Volatility: The tourism product is constantly changing. Changes in the market need to be monitored.

Key issues promotion campaign:

• Promotion is a process which is made to inform potential clients about product, explaining the most attractive and innovative points.

• Successful product is one which is capable to satisfy tourists' needs and wishes at a desirable price.

• Only product with clear key ideas can get top place in market pyramid.

• Distribution of tourism product needs to be adapted to the type of product and target audience.

• People who offer product are the best drivers for effective promotion.

4.2 Promotion strategy for whale-watching activity.

    To start the promotion process is really important to make the list of key ideas relating to the individual characteristics of your service that you would like the visitors to remember and tell to other potential clients.

    The key idea of whale- watching business is to be eco-friendly tourist activity which promote knowledge about diversity of marine mammals in Madeira archipelago and a safe and friendly way for its observation. Our potential clients are not only regular tourists who choose whale watching as one from a package of other tourist activities during the holidays, but also students who take courses in marine biology area, amateur and professional photographers, eco-oriented tourists and nature-lovers.

    Main distribution and promotion channels:

• Domestic and foreign travel agencies. This distribution channel is aimed for two main lines, foreign and domestic tourists.

• Tourism fairs and exhibitions. It is alternative form of presentation of product with the creation of personal contacts between private and public tourism businesses.

• Professional associations. Participating in professional associations helps to create corporate image, promote public relations and make agreements with new distribution channels.

• Notes and press releases. Important to select media best suited to the product and target audience.

• Internet. Today Internet is invaluable for communication, information and promotion. Distribution of the tourism product is directly connected with Internet.

• People.  Employee plays a vital role in effective marketing strategy. People buy from people, so the attitude and skills of all staff constitute the main aspect of the brand and quality of service.Advertising. The main materials used to distribute information are flyers, posters, brochures, billboards and web pages. Advertising campaign need to be well-planned and evaluated.  

4.3 Advertising campaign for whale-watching activity.

    Firstly, a target audience should be chosen. I propose to use as a choosing criteria 400 inquiries (annex 1) which were made, as part of the internship, during the period between April 2016 and March 2017.

    According to the results, profile of clients who used “Ventura | nature emotions” whale-watching services in Madeira Island:

• They travel with family or friends.

• Majority of clients are from United Kingdom, Germany and France.

• Visitors are generally both men and women have an older age structure (age between 50 and 60 years).

• The most frequent activity to do is “levada” trekking tour.

    Specific objective of campaign is promotion of whale-watching as an eco-friendly product which firstly cares about animals' welfare. It's important:

● motivate participants to care about whales and the sea and to work for or contribute to its conservation;

● provide public knowledge about cetaceans;

● improve guide training and teach nature guides who can tell good, accurate stories and build the bridge between the tourists and the sea;

● involve the community and explain a financial interest in whale watching and the conservation of whales and the sea. (Hoyt, E., 2003)


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