Breaching minke photo courtesy of Richard Slattery
The minke whale is one of the
smallest of the baleen whales, attaining lengths of approximately 30
feet and weights of 10 tons. They feed on small schooling fish and
krill, and are usually found in our waters as single individuals.
Minke whales found along the eastern coast of the US are considered to
be part of the Canadian East Stock, which is estimated to contain 4018
The minke whale gets its specific
epithet (acutorostrata) from its pointed beak (acutus = sharp;
rostrum = beak). North Atlantic minkes typically have white bands on
their flippers. The minke whale is the third most abundant large whale
in the US Atlantic coast. Minke whales are listed in the IUCN
(International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural
Redlist as "Least Concern."
taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluated against
the criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered,
Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Widespread and
abundant taxa are included in this category."