CANBERRA, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Australian Antarctic scientists have successfully tested new acoustic technology to track and locate blue whales hundreds of kilometres away by eavesdropping on the song of these animals, Environment Minister Tony Burke said in a statement Thursday.
Using this latest acoustic technology, researchers can track the low-frequency calling sounds synonymous with blue whales from hundreds of kilometres away. The statement said the technology is 90 percent successful in tracking the mammal, which can grow up to 31 metres long, a considerably better result than combing the vast oceans.
The research is a core part of an Australian-led international project to estimate the abundance, distribution and behavior of the species which was decimated in the early 1900s when industrial whaling killed approximately 250,000 animals.
"This research reinforces Australia's commitment to non-lethal research of whales," Tony Burke indicated. "This contrasts with Japan's so-called 'scientific whaling' where the alleged research begins with a harpoon. This breakthrough project again shows you don't have to kill a whale to study it."