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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

 

Tug of war dominates Panama whaling summit

Blog entry by John Frizell | 6 July, 2012

Seen from the observer seats in this huge echoing hall, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting in Panama was like a tug of war in slow motion as the voting blocs surged back and forth. The struggle was for the...

Shared outrage against a licence to kill in pursuit of oil

Blog entry by Ben Ayliffe | 24 May, 2012 1 comment

Several of Greenpeace’s friends recently filed a lawsuit to challenge a decision by the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) allowing oil company Apache Alaska Corporation to kill up to 30 Cook Inlet Beluga Whales. The...

'Big Miracle' Whale Rescue, Alaska

Slideshow | 3 February, 2012

The big picture behind ‘Big Miracle’

Blog entry by Martin Lloyd | 27 January, 2012 10 comments

“This is Campbell Plowden, Whale Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace.  I’d like to let you know that the Soviet Union is going to send two icebreakers to help clear a path for the whales trapped in Alaska.”     24 years ago...

Protecting the wild south: Antarctica

Blog entry by Richard Page | 31 October, 2011 6 comments

Oceans campaigner Richard Page is currently attending the annual meeting of CCAMLR Commission, where discussions are underway for a representative network of marine protected areas across the Southern Ocean by 2012. Although it’s...

Whales and narwhals under threat from oil drilling

Blog entry by Richard Page | 11 July, 2011

In 1996 I was part of a Greenpeace team dispatched to document an oil spill resulting from the grounding of the Sea Empress on the coast of South-West Wales. Approximately 72,000 tonnes of crude oil were released into the sea, oiling...

Fukushima meltdown: two months later, Japan's government still drags its feet

Blog entry by Greg McNevin | 17 May, 2011 14 comments

In the latest in its ongoing series of late-night announcements, TEPCO this week finally admitted that the core of Fukushima’s reactor 1 started melting a mere five hours after the March 11 earthquake, and reached full meltdown...

Japanese whaling will come to an end - the question is simply when

Blog entry by Junichi Sato | 28 January, 2011 42 comments

On December 22, 2010 - the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) acknowledged and publicly apologised for embezzlement within the whaling industry . An official from the powerful agency gave a 90 degree bow of apology on national...

Whaling on trial: Vindication!

Feature story | 23 December, 2010 at 12:32

TOYKO: After two and a half years of hard work in Japan to expose corruption at the heart of the whaling industry - we have a significant victory!

US activity in support of Tokyo Two

Image | 6 September, 2010 at 12:51

Greenpeace staff members hold a banner in front of the United States Supreme Court building.

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