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Whale sanctuary within Tongan waters
by Ministry of Fisheries, Tonga (Government)
The Royal Decree of 1978 by His late Majesty King Tupou IV, banned whaling in Tongan waters. This was re-affirmed during an International Conference on Whales in a Changing Ocean that was hosted by Tonga in April 2017. The Whale watching industry has boomed since this banning, which has increased revenue, through the tourist sector, into the country.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Development of the MSP
In-kind contribution
Government staff
Staff / Technical expertise
SPREP, IWC, Waitt Institute
Basic information
Time-frame: 1978 - ongoing
Ministry of Fisheries (Government) Ministry of MEIDECC (Government) Ministry of Tourism (Government) Whale watching industry (private sector) SPREP (intergovernmental organisation) International whaling commission (intergovernmental organisation)
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Neigbouring Pacific Island Countries & Territories
Contact information
Tu'ikolongahau Halafihi, Chief Executive Officer, supi64@gmail.com, +676 21399
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Other SDGs
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