Minke Whale

Page - May 31, 2007

Minke Whale

Ways to identify this species: black to dark grey on top, white on the underside, long slender body with a narrow, triangular jaw.


  • Adult males measure up to 31 feet and females up to 33 feet. Both males and females weigh about 9 tons
  • Minkes are known for their curiosity and sometimes like to swim beside ship. They can keep up with the ships becasue they are fast swimmers and can reach sppeds of 21 mph
  • Minke whales feeed mainly on krill in the Southern Hemisphere and on small schooling
  • In the feeding grounds of the Antarctic, minkes inhabit the pack ice, large blocks of ice on the surface of the ocean generally found in polar regions
  • Minkes often travel by themselves butsometimes can be foundin pairs or small groups


  • Minke whales are the most widely hunted species in our oceans and continue to be threatened by the scientific and commercial  whale hunt that continues today
  • Pollution and climate change also pose a threat to the whale's habitat, scientists think that a sharp contraction in sea ice in the Antarctic due to global warming is the likeliest explanation for the population of minke whales falling to half in less than a decade