Whale-watching is not as harmless as it appears. Conservationists say whales are stressed out by the frequent boat trips, which affects their behavior and puts their long-term survival at risk. As many as 13 million people flock to the oceans each year in hopes of seeing whales and dolphins up close.

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Photo: Sam Chadwick

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Yeah, been an issue for a while. I wonder what could be done? Personally I'd like to see more protected marine sanctuary areas where motorized boats aren't allowed. Getting rid of whale-watching entirely isn't feasible, since many places rely a lot on the tourism. (and without that tourism, they might resort to fishing more, which can cause even more harm) But having protected marine areas in general is a good idea, and not just to prevent tourist-related harm.