Minke whale, lesser rorqual
The smallest of the rorqual family, minke whales are currently the only whales still openly being commercially hunted.
Up to 47 years.
Body length: 7-10m, Weight: 5-10 tonnes.
Minke whales are dark above and white below with a pointed head. They may have a white band on the flippers and the dorsal fin is high and curved.
Minke whales have a worldwide distribution, although they prefer cooler regions to tropical areas. They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans.
Minke whales feed on fish and krill.
They travel singly or can be found in groups of 2-4 individuals.
The breeding period for minke whales is from December to May.
They are classified as Lower Risk by the 2000 IUCN Red List. Global threats include whaling, human disturbance, habitat loss, prey depletion, pollution and entanglement in nets. Minke whales are currently the only whales still openly being commercially hunted.