Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

Fin whale

Northern hemisphere population migrates yearly between equatorial regions (e.g. Azores) and the Barents Sea. They arrive at the coast of northern Norway in June-July and leave after the herring feast in February. In the Vestfjord, fin whales are seen during the months June-September either solitary, mother calf pairs or in groups of more than 15 individuals.

Fin Whale Sounds

COMING SOON ** Fin whale sounds are around 20 Hz and so loud they can be heard over 1000km in the Ocean. However, because of the very low frequency, you will need headphones or loudspeakers to hear the hums.

Northern Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

Group formation: Solitary-gregarious (2-15 loose, feeding groups > 100)

Size: males 18-20, females 20-25 m, calf 6.5 m

Weight: 40-80 t, calf 1.8 t

Spout: ca. 6 m, narrow

Age: 90-140 yrs

Sexual maturity: 6-12 yrs

Physical maturity: 20-30 yrs

Gestation: 11 months, 2-3 yrs between births

Weaning: 6-7 months

Diet: small schooling fish, squid, crustaceans (incl. copepods, krill).

Distribution: Northern and Southern hemisphere sub-species, cosmopolitan from tropic to Polar Regions

Population size: global ca. 100.000-190.000, heavily exploited

Conservation Status:
Endangered A1d ver 3.1, Pop. trend: unknown

Threats: Vessel collisions, whaling (Iceland, Greenland, Japan), plastic pollution, man-made noise impacts (seismic surveys, military sonar), over fishing (e.g. krill in Antarctica)