Scientific Name: Balaenoptera acutorostrata Size: up to 25’ Weight: approximately 10 tons Status: Least Concern and still hunted commercially.
Minke Whales are commonly seen here throughout of the Gulf of Maine. Compared to the other baleen whales that we see here, Minke Whales are on the small side and can very easily go unnoticed when they surface. Because of their small size they don’t really have a visible spout on most occasions nor do they need to raise their flukes to go on a deeper dive. So, for Minke Whales you really do need to be looking in the right place at the right time to catch a glimpse of them for most surfacings.
Minke Whales are on the shy side. They tend to avoid boats as much as they can, but in all fairness to them, they are still hunted in large numbers by some countries so it certainly makes sense that they would be more on the cautious and distant side. Of course, this can sometimes make it difficult for us whale watchers to get good, close looks at them. There are always exceptions to this rule though and sometimes they’ll approach the boat out of curiosity or will at least remain at the surface long enough for the boat to approach for a closer look.
One of the unique defining characteristics of Minke Whales is a white patch that runs across their pectoral fins or flippers. These white patches are affectionately referred to as the Minke Mittens. They also tend to surface snout first which earned them the nickname of the “Little Piked Whale”.
"We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? - a world without whales. It's too terrible to imagine." ~ Pierce Brosnan