NIUE EXPECTED TO DECLARE WHALE SANCTUARY

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SUVA, Fiji (Pacnews, June 2) - Niue is expected to announce this
year it will formally declare its entire exclusive economic zone as a whale
sanctuary.

Fiji is the latest addition to the South Pacific countries
protecting whales in its EEZ.

Each year around 20 humpback whales visit Niue where the females
give birth and mating takes place before the long journey back to Antarctic
waters.

A growing number of Pacific island states, including the Cook
Islands, French Polynesia, Niue and Tonga, have set up sanctuaries.

Meanwhile, delegates from Pacific island countries including
Niue will meet in Feb. 2004 at the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Forum to
develop an Integrated Framework for Action of Ocean Initiatives for the region.

June 3, 2003

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