Half of the whale species on earth can be found in the waters around Chile at any given point in the year, so whales, and whale watching tourism, are of crucial importance to Chile.
That's why a combination of activists and politicians from Chile and elsewhere in Latin America have proposed forming the world's largest whale sanctuary there, which could eventually make Chile the world's top whale-watching destination.
The sanctuary proposal is being presented to Chile's Senate Environmental Commission, with the goal of receiving government approval before the next meeting meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), to be held in Santiago in June 2008.
Marine biology research centers such as Whale Sound already recognize the tourism potential of a whale watching sanctuary. Located near a humpback whale feeding area within the Francisco Coloane Marine Park in the Strait of Magellan, Whale Sound offers 3-day/2-night package journeys with dome-style lodging and daily excursions led by degreed biologists to view whales and other aquatic life.