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Minke Whales Balaenoptrera acutorostrata

Minke whales here off our coast and inside the Monterey Bay are the shy slinky whales that continue to be a mystery to scientists

because this population disappears in the winter months and no body knows where they go! Minke's all over the world behave differently.  The Minke whales here tend to be a little illusive except when they are invested in feeding activities and that's when we get our best viewing. These whales love to dine on our baby rock fish schools.

The Minke whale happens to be the smallest baleen whale out of 5 main species that come into our area and compared to body size they are really quite petite. They average in length of about 23 ft, in our area, when other Minke's are better known to reach lengths of about 30 ft.These whales have some interesting color patterns on their bodies that are key for identifying them. Minke whales are dark grey and have a pure white colorless patch running across their front pectoral fins as if they are wearing white arm bands varying in width from individual to individual. Sometimes you can even see a very pale light colored veil sweeping behind their heads in a "V" shape pattern. It is refereed to as the chevron pattern. As far as seeing more of this whale you could be on one of the lucky trips when one breaches (jumps) or spy hops out of the water. I can't miss lead you and say it happens all the time but when it does you'll just about drop to the deck with excitement!! 

Facts about the Minke Whale:

Lifespan: More than 50 years.
Population: They are one of the most abundant whales, however, reliable information on population size is unavailable.
Distribution: Near shore shallow to open ocean and found world wide. Migrations are variable amongst populations.
Diet: Small schooling fish and krill.
Group Size: 1 - 3, large groups if prey is plentiful.
Adults: Length:  23 - 33' (7 - 10 m)
Weight:  10,000 - 20,000 lb. (Up to 9,200 kg)
Newborns: Length: 8 - 9' (2.4 - 2.8 m)
Weight:  710 lb. (320 kg)