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Humpback whales migrate from the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.

The Great Whale Trail

Whales must not be allowed to die in the thousands for needless, discredited "research," and we're satellite tracking whales in the Southern Ocean to prove it.

The Great Whale Trail is a collaboration between Greenpeace and scientists working on humpback whales in the South Pacific.

With financial support from Greenpeace, humpback whales have been tagged by the Cook Islands Whale Research and Opération Cétacés (New Caledonia). 

The whales are now being tracked via satellite as they migrate from breeding and calving areas in the tropical South Pacific to the feeding grounds of the Southern Ocean.

Check out the early results

This project will produce important information on the movements and migratory destinations of humpback whales from small, unrecovered populations off Rarotonga (Cook Islands) and New Caledonia.

Greenpeace is communicating this critical non-lethal scientific research to the wider public as part of their campaign against Japan's unnecessary lethal "research" in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

On their journey, the humpbacks, like hundreds of thousands of other whales, face a range of threats including ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, pollution and the impacts of climate change.

Every year, more than 300,000 whales and dolphins die just caught in nets. The one place you might think they would be safe is a whale sanctuary like the Southern Ocean. Not so. Once in Antarctic waters they face the threat most easily ended - whaling.

The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary was meant to be a safe haven but every year the Fisheries Agency of Japan send a fleet of whaling ships to kill in the name of science. For the third year running they aim to hunt down almost 1,000 minke whales.

This year, they also plan to kill 50 threatened humpback whales and 50 endangered fin whales.

All of these whales will die for so-called 'scientific research' - but even the International Whaling Commission has labelled the "research" needless and urged the Japanese government to stop.

Why catching whales for science is a hoax

In reality, the "research" is commercial whaling in disguise - and the whale meat actually ends up in supermarket shelves in Japan, even though few people eat it anymore. Commercial whaling is banned under IWC rules.

In contrast, the Great Whale Trail project is contributing to real scientific efforts without killing whales.

The latest updates

 

"Tokyo Two" protest in Paris

Image | 9 December, 2008 at 0:00

"Tokyo Two" protest outside the Japanese embassy in Paris.

Bondi Beach, Australia

Image | 9 December, 2008 at 0:00

Greenpeace commissioned a life-size sculpture of a juvenile Fin Whale made out of sand. The sculpture co-incides with events in 16 other countries highlighting the plight of two Greenpeace activists under house arrest in Japan for exposing...

Whaling fleet attempts to sneak out of port

Feature story | 17 November, 2008 at 0:00

Our activists marked the departure of Japan's whaling fleet from the port of Innoshima with banners declaring "Whaling on Trial" and another in Japanese outlining the whaling operation's multi-million dollar drain on Japan's taxpayers. The fleet...

Challenge to Japan to prosecute anti- whaling activists worldwide

Feature story | 4 November, 2008 at 0:00

Despite the moratorium on commercial whaling, the Japanese government continues to send a fleet of ships to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary to kill over a thousand whales. Each season, the fleet departs for the Sanctuary and more whales...

The real criminals in the whaling industry

Image | 3 November, 2008 at 0:00

The real criminals in the whaling industry have yet to be charged.

Japanese whaling ship outlawed

Feature story | 28 October, 2008 at 0:00

Yet another nail has been put in the coffin of Japan's dying whaling industry. We've managed to get the Oriental Bluebird, re-supply and transport ship of Japan’s whaling fleet, de-flagged and fined, following a legal ruling by Panamanian...

A fin whale is pictured in the Ligurian Sea

Image | 7 August, 2008 at 1:00

A fin whale is pictured in the Ligurian Sea, Pelagos whale sanctuary, 7 August 2008, 20 miles off the north coast of Corsica France.

Can we trust the whalers when they say they're

Image | 18 July, 2008 at 1:00

Can we trust the whalers when they say they're innocent?

Whale meat scandal: Many questions

Feature story | 18 July, 2008 at 0:00

Why would we believe the whaling industry when it says it is innocent? The institutions behind the Japanese whaling operation have apparently now investigated themselves and cleared themselves of any wrongdoing over the whale meat embezzlement...

Activists charged for exposing whale meat scandal

Feature story | 11 July, 2008 at 0:00

Our Japanese activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki were charged with theft and trespass today by the prosecutor in Aomori after they exposed a major scandal around the embezzlement of whale meat from the Japanese government-sponsored Southern...

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