Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

Fin whale

Southern Fin whale (Balaenoptera quoyi)

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

Size: males 22-25 m, females 24-27 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 mths, 2-3 yrs between births

Weaning: 6-7 mths

Diet: mostly euphausiids and amphipods, and some small schooling fish.

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

Chile: Southern hemisphere population migrates yearly between the equator and Antarctica. In the Gulf of Corcovado, fin whales are seen feeding during the months December-March either solitary, mother calf pairs or in larger feeding groups.

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)