Whale Satellite Monitoring Project


The Whale Satellite Monitoring Project (Projeto Monitoramento de Baleias por Satélite – PMBS) was created in 2001 with the following objectives:

  • Develop whale-monitoring techniques using satellite transmitters in Brazil;
  • Investigate the movements of whales wintering along the Brazilian coast and discover their migratory routes and destinations;
  • Train researchers and students to use marine animal remote-monitoring methods;
  • Investigate the potential consequences of human activities on the behavior of these animals.

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was selected as the first species to be studied by the project. Over 120 whales have been instrumented to date, and unprecedented information has been collected on the behavior of these magnificent animals. Data collected by the project are being used to improve whale conservation at regional and global scales.
PMBS is one of the longest and most successful marine animal monitoring projects in the world. It has been sponsored by Shell Brazil from the onset and is conducted by a multidisciplinary team that includes professionals from Brazil, Denmark, the United States and Australia.

The pioneering nature of the PMBS has allowed for the expansion of studies conducted in Brazil to a number of other countries through collaborations with researchers studying whales in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Antarctic oceans.


Whale migration route