In the article Confronting Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd, Tetsuhiko Endo writes:
In a March 2012 article in Nature, Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines from the University of California, point out that the international whaling industry makes no more than $31 million a year while major anti-whaling NGOs spend around $25 million. What have whales gotten out of all this anti-whaling money? Hunting rates that are twice as high as they were in 1990.
Based on a pubmed search for the two authors, the Nature article referred to is presumably Conservation science: A market approach to saving the whales (paywalled) (paper metrics - tweeted by 50, picked up by 4 news outlets, in the 82 percentile of Nature papers)
I'm suspicious that Endo, or the authors of the Nature paper itself, is comparing two different numbers, such as overall turnover in the anti-whaling activism and the net profit on the part of whaling, to make the numbers look similar.
Is anti-whaling activism almost as big an industry as the whaling industry?
Just to be clear, I'm only talking about comparing anti-whaling activism to the whaling industry, not about comparing either of them to alternative commercial utilisation of whales (for example whale watching being an A$2.1 billion a year industry).