Humpback whales return early this year

A Humpback whale underwater at Avatele Bay taken by Ant Brown Photography, Niue Blue

The number of tourists arriving on the island is picking up as one of the key attractions the humpback whales arrived early this year. Usually the whales arrive around mid to late July until October/November but this year they arrived in June, one of the first sightings this year was on the east coast of the island.

A Facebook page called Sighting Cetaceans on Niue or SCAN was set up to track where the whales and dolphins are this season. 

“Anyone can participate with SCAN! We want to know the number of cetaceans around Niue at a given time, so the more people who participate the better. We also hope this will encourage people to head outdoors and see them for themselves.”

The Facebook group encourages anyone on the island, resident or visitors to report honest sightings of dolphins or whales (cetaceans).

Niue has resident Spinner dolphins commonly seen on the western side and from mid July to October Humpback whales visit our waters. Niue is fortunate to have peaceful, deep waters surrounding the island. Humpback whales come to seek shelter for resting, mating, nursing calves and playing – making  Niue a wonderful place for whale watching.

Breaching humpback from Tamakautoga looking towards Avatele Bay by Hunter Malcon, Niue Blue

Oma Tafuā is a local NGO group dedicated to the protection and celebration of whales and their unique marine heritage in Niue and throughout the Pacific.

Founder of Oma Tafuā Fiafia Rex has done a lot of work in this space collecting valuable information about the migratory patterns of more than 200 humpback whales identified in the Niue catalogue.

According to Oma Tafuā, Niue was declared a Whale Sanctuary in 2003 when regulations came into effect around activities in the water interacting with whales. Only licensed operators like Niue Blue and Explore Niue Tours have experience with whale watching tours.

For most of the locals on the island, watching from the shore is just as good, observing these majestic mammals as they travel up and down the west coast of the island.

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