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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 - statement of concern

Publication | 5 September, 2010 at 16:28

This is a joint statement of concern by International Non-Governmental Organisations, urging the Japanese government, as well as governments around the world to ensure that Greenpeace activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki are not unjustly and...

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.

IWC61- vote distribution map

Publication | 18 June, 2009 at 15:04

Map showing Whale Conservation countries and Whaling proponents for IWC 61, June 2009, Madeira

Japan and IWC Membership

Publication | 18 June, 2009 at 13:13

Japan frequently threatens to leave the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and presumably would pursue whaling in the Southern Ocean, either on its own or under the authority of some new international organization. In fact, Japan has neither...

Japan and the Coastal Whaling trade off

Publication | 18 June, 2009 at 0:00

On 11 May 2009, the BBC revealed that, as part of what is billed as a peace process at the IWC, Japan had offered to reduce its 'scientific' catch of whales in Antarctic waters to 650 per year – just 29 less than it killed last season - in return...

Fact Sheet: The Whale Meat Market in Japan

Publication | 8 June, 2009 at 0:00

There's no market for whale meat in Japan - yet Iceland's whalers insist that importing whale meat to Japan is financially viable. This report demonstrates how this is wishful thinking on the part of Iceland's whalers, and includes incendiary...

Executive Summary: Marine reserves for the Mediterranean sea

Publication | 15 June, 2006 at 0:00

This Greenpeace report sets out the argument for the urgent establishment of a network of marine reserves across the Mediterranean Sea to safeguard its productivity, its marine life and its ecosystems for the many millions of people who rely on...

Marine reserves for the Mediterranean Sea

Publication | 15 June, 2006 at 0:00

This Greenpeace report sets out the argument for the urgent establishment of a network of marine reserves across the Mediterranean Sea to safeguard its productivity, its marine life and its ecosystems for the many millions of people who rely on...

The Gorton's Family Whale Killing Business

Publication | 2 December, 2005 at 0:00

For 70 years, the Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd. company ofJapan—also known as Nissui—has been involved with thelarge scale commercial hunting of great whales, whichcontinues today despite the international ban on commercialwhaling. In 2001, Nissui,...

Tradition, culture & science

Publication | 18 November, 2005 at 0:00

In recent years, Japan’s pro-whaling lobbyists have deployed a series of excuses for continuing the hunt, despite the existence since 1986 of a global commercial whalingmoratorium. First comes science: to gather much needed data, they claim, in...

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