15 Jun 2005

Tonga undecided on whaling ban

1:38 pm on 15 June 2005

Tonga is undecided on whether an international ban on whaling should be lifted.

Members of the International Whaling Commission will be voting on whether to let Japan increase the number of whales and species it can kill a year at next week's meeting in South Korea.

The Secretary of Fisheries Dr Sione Vailala Matoto says talks are ongoing as to whether Tonga should join the IWC, as there are several whale watching businesses now operating in the kingdom.

"There are two views here now in Tonga. Some wish that if they can be able to utilise some meat rather than being wasted, but at the same time some people are thinking of promoting more of the whale watching."

Dr Sione Vailala Matoto