South Pacific Whale Watching
Between 1998 and 2005 whale watching activities in the South Pacific grew 45 percent and the sector now brings in $21 million a year. In 2005 over a hundred thousand visitors went whale watching. The region's best known venue is Vava'u Tonga, where the whales are present from June to October, but whale watching trips are also offered in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and the Cook Islands. Thus far, the annual Japanese whale hunt in Antarctica hasn't targeted the humpback whales commonly seen in the islands, but the threat from Japanese whaling remains.