Guest Blog Post
My name is Lahaina Tatafu. I am 22 years of age and I’m located in the true south Pacific islands of Tonga. My family run an ocean tourism and diving business, where I work with humpback whales during Tonga’s whale season as a guide for whale swimming.
The whale season starts when humpback whales arrive in Tonga to mate, give birth and socialize, and ends when the whales leave Tonga to travel back to their feeding grounds in Antarctica. The whale season begins around July and can go up until November, depending on the whales.
Growing up I had a fear of the ocean, but quickly grew out of it as I watched my father on the tours. Our operation is based on culture and tradition of the Tongan ways, as well as preserving our whales. I recently spoke about the importance of whales to Tongan culture and tourism at the “Whales in a Changing Ocean” conference in Tonga.
Tonga is so fortunate to be a whale preservation zone due to the smart act of our late King Tupou IV, who became the key to the long living of the whales in our oceans. I plan to advocate in schools around Tonga and the Pacific as to how important it is for us to preserve such magnificent creations.
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