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Your holiday snorkel with whales is affecting their behaviour

Vava’u is group of islands in northern Tonga which is an important breeding and nursery area for humpback whales. Over the past 20 years it has become a popular location for “swim-with-whales” tourism and over 20 commercial operators take thousands of tourists out to snorkel close to the whales. Research published today in the scientific journal PLOSOne shows that the intensive swim-with-whale tourism activities in Vava’u, Tonga is causing disturbance to natural behaviour patterns.

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