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Humpback whales in the Fiji Islands
(Megaptera novaeangliae)


Humpback Whales sighted in Fiji belong to the Southern Humpback populations. They are baleen whales and spend most of the year in Artic Waters where they feed on krill and sardine size fish. Every year in about June, humpbacks start their yearly migration north, to warmer waters, where they give birth and mate.
They are seen in Fiji from June to October.

Humpbacks whales are seen in the Fiji Islands usually only during the winter season July to October.


  Whale watching for Humpbacks in the Fiji Islands is mainly of  opportunistic nature during boat trips or diving trips out at sea.
In the neighbouring Kingdom of Tonga are several well set up humpback whale whatching operators. Tonga has  a quite  large  and stable Humpback population which returns yearly to the  Tonga archipelago for calving and mating.
Fiji's NAI'A Liveaboard Dive Adventures visits Tonga yearly for Humpback Whale Watching Expeditions. During these tours scientific data is collected and they are open to the public. Those that book early enough have opportunity for spectacular encounters and even swims with Humpbackwhales.
Humpback research
In case of the Humpback whale and some other large whales, photos of the underside of the fluke, with their individual  shape and pattern, are taken. These are catalogued to ID an name the whales.

In the last years whale research teams from Australia together with Fiji fisheries department and the University of the South Pacific are conducting survey and collectiong data of the Fiji Humpbacks population.
During encounters skin DNA samples are collected so that with the help of genetics the family tree of the different Southern humpbacks populations can be further understood.
All humpback whale ID's taken in Fiji have not shown any match with any of the other known populations, i.e. from Tonga, Australia etc.. This suggests that the different humpback populations not really mix and or interbreed.
 
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