Today we launched the Great Whale Trail, following the migration of humpback whales from the warm tropical waters of the South Pacific, where they breed, to the icy Southern Ocean around Antarctica, where they feed. And we're doing it via satellite tracking and Google Maps. Nifty.

It's a collaboration between Greenpeace and scientists studying humpback whales in the South Pacific. We provided the financial support, while the humpbacks have been tagged by the Cook Islands Whale Research, and Opération Cétacés (New Caledonia). Why are we doing this? Well, it's simple, really: whales must not be allowed to die in the thousands for needless, discredited "research," - like that carried out by the Japanese whaling fleet. We're satellite tracking whales in the Southern Ocean to prove that non-lethal means can be used to do some real research!

Every year, more than 300,000 whales and dolphins die from just getting caught in fishing nets. The one place you might think that whales would be safe is in a whale sanctuary like the Southern Ocean. Alas, not so. Once in Antarctic waters they face the one threat that ended most easily - whaling, under the guise of "research" - whaling that is in reality a commercial operation.

Track the whales, on Google Maps »

Video: The Great Whale Trail: meeting the tag team

More about the Great Whale Trail here »