Northern Minke Whale

Scientific Name:
Balaenoptera acturosostrata
7.8-9m (25.6-29.5ft)
5,400-6800kg (11900-15000lbs)
good to go
Varies from krill to fish, such as herring or ceplin

Physical characteristics

Minke whales have a dark grey dorsal fin, a white belly, and white band on each flipper.

Behavioral characterization

They usually dive for 10 minutes to acquire food, rarely fluking since they don’t normally dive deep.


They are found in non-polar oceans above the equator.

Population size

Approximately 182,000.


Transient killer whale populations.

Migration/Dispersal patterns

They breed during late winter in warm waters before migrating.

Social system/Group size

Travel as an individual, or groups of less than 5.

Major threats

Whaling (Norway, Iceland, Japan, and Greenland) and entanglement in nets.

Research efforts

Northeast Pacific Minke Whale Project uses photo identification in an attempt to learn more about their potentially different ecological community to other baleen whales due to their distribution and size.

Fun fact

Minke whales are the smallest of the baleen whales.