This page has been archived, and may no longer be up to date

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


German Activists Support Tokyo Two

Image | 8 February, 2010 at 0:00

German Activists Support Tokyo Two

TODAY: Conditions "harsh and disproportionate" for red-carpet activists and Sea...

Blog entry by mwilson | 6 January, 2010 1 comment

This is part of a trial series. © Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace Mobilization continues around the world in support of the activists' release. Coverage in Spain and European free dailies continued yesterday on the campaign to...

Humpback Whale Documentation

Image | 12 November, 2009 at 16:11

Humpback whale and calf off the coast of Tonga

Humpback whale off the coast of Tonga

Image | 12 November, 2009 at 15:22

How the Japanese 'Research' Whaling Programme Could Be Ended Through the Japanese...

Publication | 12 November, 2009 at 13:10

The Japanese government-funded whaling programme runs at a loss and consumes more than US$8 million annually. A government spending review may be a effective way to cut lethal whaling.

End of Japanese whaling may be in sight

Feature story | 12 November, 2009 at 0:00

We've been watching the horizon for this one for a very long time, but our colleagues up in the crow's nest report that a new blip on the horizon could mean an end to Japanese whaling in Antarctica.

Oceans Action against Whaling in Tokyo

Image | 10 November, 2009 at 16:15

Activists wearing “Tax” hats unveiled the whale with supporting banners reading: "Amakudai", "waste of tax", "useless public interest corporation”.

Oceans Action against Whaling in Tokyo

Image | 10 November, 2009 at 16:11

Greenpeace activists wearing Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and US President Barack Obama masks unveil a three-metre whale outside the Japanese Diet while displaying bannersreading: “Yes, We can.” “Stop Research Whaling”. Greenpeace is urging the...

Yes, we can!

Image | 10 November, 2009 at 15:34

Greenpeace activists unveiled a large whale sculpture outside the Japanese Diet, to remind both heads of state to uphold their respective election promises to end corruption and waste, as well as so-called “scientific” whaling.

Obama and the whale

Feature story | 10 November, 2009 at 0:00

The government of Japan has decided to look into wasteful spending. We can't think of a greater waste than the Japanese whaling programme. So we sent a delegation to the place where the review committee is meeting.

61 - 70 of 437 results.