24 Apr 2017

Call for fewer Tonga whale watching licences

From , 3:04 pm on 24 April 2017

A woman with a long involvement in whale watching in Tonga's Vava'u is hoping there will be fewer boats licenced to provide the service this year.

Whale watching and swimming with the whales are a key element of the Tongan tourism package, but, Aunofo Havea Funaki, one of the founders of the sector, told, Don Wiseman, it is becoming unsustainable.

Tonga is one of the few countries in the world where it is legal for people to swim with whales, although some conservationists are calling for an end to commercial swimming with whales operations.

This photograph taken on August 4, 2008 shows a humpback whale diving near the island of Vava'u in Tonga. Photo: DAVID BROOKS / AFP