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Off the coast of Gabon visitors discover whale watching paradise

5 September 2013

SCRIPT : It's the mating season for humpback whales off the coast of Gabon. And the huge mammals also have a number of human admirers SOUNDBITE 1 Julia (woman) tourist (French, secs): "It was really great - you really can't imagine what it's like before coming here - leaps, backflips really spectacular things. At one point they came right alongside us. We were a bit scared but you have to deal with it - anyway, at that point you think either make the most of it, or we capsize!" In his small boat, Arnaud has been getting up close to the whales for twenty-five years. Groups of female whales are ever more numerous during the mating season and authorities say the increase is due to a drop in the number of fishing boats. SOUNDBITE 2 Koumba Kombila (man) Head of Fishing, National Parks Agency (French, 12 secs): "This year we've enforced restrictions on fishing and respecting fishing levels - So activity near the coasts is less intensive this year." Gabon's tourism industry is still lacking in infrastructure - with just two ships offering these whale-watching cruises. This makes for an even more memorable experience, for those lucky enough to get on board one of the ships. ------------------------------------------ SHOTLIST : Libreville and the surroundings, 12/ 21 August (Source : AFPTV) -MS of a whale jumping from the sea -MS of whales under the water -MS of skipper and three passengers SOUNDBITE 1 -MS of a boat -VAR of whales jumping from the sea/underwater SOUNDBITE 2 -VAR of whales and a passenger taking photos

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