Source: The Australian
Tonga’s amazing humpback whale encounters are well known
If swimming with humpbacks in Tonga has always appealed, but the Polynesian kingdom has seemed a little too far-flung, it will be welcome news that the Western Australian Government is going ahead with plans to allow limited humpback whale tours at the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Eleven licensed operators will be offering the whale tours in 2016, with the numbers of humpbacks—which migrate along the coast every year—back at healthy levels. To avoid stressing the animals, up to a maximum of 10 swimmers will be allowed to swim up to the whales, and tourists won’t be permitted to approach females with calves. The trial, which begins in June next year, will be evaluated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, which conducted similar monitoring and evaluation when whale shark tours were introduced at Ningaloo.
If the humpback program proves successful, it will provide exciting new opportunities for underwater photographers keen to capture the majesty of one of the ocean’s most impressive residents.
Read more here.
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