Calls to lift Tonga whale hunting ban expected to fail

The chances of Tonga lifting its ban on whale hunting appear very slim.

According to our Tonga correspondent, there are calls to lift the ban so Tongans, struggling through the pandemic, could enjoy healthy whale meat, instead of eating fatty imports.

Kaniva Pacific reports that after a whale stranding in Ha'apai, where people gleefully chopped away the meat, there have social media calls to allow hunting of what some see as a delicacy.

But Kalafi Moala said with Tonga's whale watching industry a major part of the tourism sector, no government would look at rescinding the Royal Edict of 1978 which banned whale hunting.

"I don't think, among our leaders anyway, there is any thinking that 'yeah maybe we should lift the ban' I think there is a strong commitment from within Tonga and there's pressure from the development partners overseas as well to not go back to the lifting of the ban. Whalewatching is the way to go not whale eating."