BOSTON (CBS) – An out-of-this-world whale watching experience is being spearheaded right here in Boston. The New England Aquarium and Draper of Cambridge are using satellites, sonar and radar to allow researchers to count and track the animals from space.

Aquarium CEO Vikki Spruill says whale conservation needs new, high-tech solutions and this project will allow researchers to better protect whales.

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“The ocean is the life-support system for the planet and these magnificent whales are really an indicator species of what’s happening in the ocean and what’s happening to us as humans,” she told WBZ-TV. “So we need to better understand where they’re moving, where they’re going, so we can better understand what’s happening in the ocean and therefore happening on our planet to protect them and ourselves.”

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Sprull called similar tracking approaches by plane or boat “inconsistent” and “dangerous.”

The five-year initiative began in October and scientists hope to start seeing results soon.

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