This page has been archived, and may no longer be up to date


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.

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

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


Humpback Whales in Indian Ocean

Image | 2 October, 2012 at 16:55

Humpback whales break the surface as they head south to Antarctica for the summer, 30th September 2012, Southern Indian Ocean.

Humpback Whales in The Indian Ocean

Slideshow | 1 October, 2012

'Big Miracle' Whale Rescue, Alaska

Slideshow | 3 February, 2012

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.

Colombian activity in support of Tokyo Two

Image | 6 September, 2010 at 12:43

Greenpeace activists protests in front of Japans Embassy at Bogota, Colombia. Justice for the whales and the T2.

World Oceans Day 2010

Slideshow | 8 June, 2010

Whale Meat Transport Action in Rotterdam

Image | 2 April, 2010 at 0:00

02 April - Netherlands. Activists stop a major transport of whale meat on way from Iceland to Japan. Read more .

Tokyo Two Trial Continues

Image | 8 March, 2010 at 16:17

Greenpeace Japan activists Toru Suzuki (right) and Junichi Sato (centre), watch a 'living statue' of Lady Justice prior to briefing the media at a press conference at the end of their first day of 'defence' questioning at their trial in Aomori,...

Opening Day of Tokyo Two Trial

Image | 15 February, 2010 at 16:59

Greenpeace activists Toru Suzuki and Junichi Sato, with their lead defence counsel lawyer stand beside an ice sculpture of Lady Justice on the opening day of their trial in Aomori, Japan, Monday 15th February 2010.

Calls for justice in support of the 'Tokyo Two'

Image | 15 February, 2010 at 0:00

Over 400,000 calls for justice have been made in support of the 'Tokyo Two'. A banner with some of these names is held by an activist as a real human figure of Lady Justice stands outside the court in Aomori where Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki are...

1 - 10 of 280 results.