Minke whales are about 35 ft long (10.6 m) and can weigh up to 10 tons (9,100 kg).
They can live up to 50 years.
Minke whales feed by side-lunging into schools of prey (small schooling fish) and plankton.
They are widely distributed through most tropical, temperate and polar regions.
Threats to Minke Whales
Whaling, habitat degradation, overfishing, entanglement, human disturbance (harassment, noise, vessel collisions, etc)
Current Population Trend Unknown
The IUCN Red List tracks the conservation status of organisms around the world. Visit the Red List to learn more about the conservation status of Minke whales.
OCS Research Insights
Minkes are one of the whale species we record most often in the Santa Monica Bay, California, sometimes close to the shipping lane.
Minke Whale Facts
• Minke whales are the smallest baleen (filter-feeding) whales in North American waters.
• They’re named after a Norwegian whaling spotter named Meincke, who allegedly mistook a Minke for a blue whale.
• Minke whales make sounds that include clicks, grunts, pulse trains, ratchets, thumps – and even “boings”!
Here's how you can help
Learn Safe Observation
Learn how to safely observe whales, dolphins and other marine mammals - whether from a boat, surfboard or when kayaking or swimming.
Report Injuries or Harassment
Know who to contact if you encounter marine animals who are injured, in distress, or those being harassed by humans or boats.
Support Marine Research
OCS conducts one of the longest-running investigations on wild dolphins and whales existing worldwide. Learn more about research projects that help ensure the protection of these animals for generations to come.
Share Your Knowledge!
Ocean conservation starts with education. Share this page by copy/pasting its URL into your social media accounts to educate others about the magnificent marine mammals we share our planet with.
whale and dolphin species drawings © Massimo Demma / ICRAM / Muzzio