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Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Plans to promote marine hotspots
There were 1700 sightings of whales and dolphins off the coast in 2006
Plans are under way to promote marine tourism on the Isle of Man.

The Department of Tourism and Leisure is working closely with the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch society to research the range of marine life off the coast.

In 2006, a total of 1700 whales and dolphins sightings were recorded on the Manx and Dolphin Watch website.

John Galpin, director of the society said: "The island, is becoming recognised as a great destination to view these animals."

The society is planning to charter a boat to carry out scientific surveys to find out what types of whales, dolphins and porpoises reside in Manx waters.

'Tourism opportunity'

Mr Galpin said: "The society is delighted with the interest shown by the Department of Tourism and Leisure in this project."

Tourism and Leisure Minister Adrian Earnshaw added: "The department is looking to open up new markets such as whale watching, as a tourism opportunity for the Island, and it is hoped our support will raise the project's profile."

To mark 2007 being the Year of the Dolphin, the Isle of Man's Department of Tourism and Leisure is launching a sea life spotting competition asking for photographs, or short video clips, of any sea life observed off the Manx coast.

Dolphins spotted off island coast
24 Jan 07 |  Isle of Man
Marine mammal sightings recorded
14 Jun 06 |  Isle of Man
Basking sharks spotted off island
30 May 06 |  Isle of Man
More sharks in Scotland's waters
16 Sep 05 |  Scotland
'UK seas are in crisis' says WWF
18 Jan 05 |  Science/Nature
Basking shark survey sails again
30 Mar 04 |  Science/Nature

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