Tokelau has declared its waters a whale sanctuary, the eleventh be created in the Pacific.
The territory declared its 20,000 square kilometres of exclusive economic zone safe for whales at a gathering of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium in New Zealand on Wednesday.
The consortium hopes Tokelau's support will put pressure on the International Whaling Commission to enforce a moratorium on whaling.
A representative from Tokelau, Foua Toloa, says the territory shares a common responsibility with its neighbours to protect whales.
"I believe it is adding to the solidarity of the Pacific and issues like this, especially when it's a very important resource for Tokelau and the rest of the Pacific."
Mr Toloa says New Zealand used to be at the forefront of anti-whaling and hopes it will create a sanctuary in its waters also.