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New-style whaling industry draws tourists Down Under

Watching the world's biggest mammals is big business in Australia

PORT STEPHENS, Australia --Two mottled gray-white shapes are gliding behind our 16-meter catamaran, as the vessel plows into a stiff Tasman Sea breeze about 5 km off Australia's east coast.

There is a collective gasp from the 25 passengers as the long shapes come almost within touching distance of the stern, then quickly veer to one side, breaking the surface to reveal themselves as humpback whales, curious to check out the strangers in their environment.

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