Bryde’s whale

Were not significantly targeted by whalers until the 1970s as other species depleted


Bryde’s whale


Were not significantly targeted by whalers until the 1970s as other species depleted

Population 90,000

Bryde’s whale bears the name of Johan Bryde, a Norwegian entrepreneur recognized for establishing the first whaling stations in South Africa. These majestic cetaceans belong to the group of “great whales,” which also includes renowned species such as the blue whale and humpback whale. Despite their association with Johan Bryde’s legacy, Bryde’s whales remain enigmatic creatures, with limited data available regarding their population size and distribution. Consequently, they have been categorized as Data Deficient on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, reflecting the challenges associated with studying and understanding this species.

Bryde’s whales face a multitude of threats in their oceanic habitats, further complicating conservation efforts aimed at safeguarding their populations. One prominent concern is the historical and ongoing practice of whaling, both legal and illegal, which has contributed to population declines among numerous whale species, including Bryde’s whales. Additionally, the ever-increasing maritime traffic in busy shipping lanes poses a significant risk of collisions between vessels and Bryde’s whales, resulting in injuries and fatalities. The consequences of human-triggered activities, such as underwater noise pollution and habitat degradation, also pose potential threats to Bryde’s whale populations, although the precise extent of these impacts remains uncertain.

Instances of Bryde’s whales stranding on beaches or becoming entangled in fishing gear highlight the vulnerability of this species to anthropogenic activities and environmental disturbances. These events not only result in individual deaths but also raise concerns about the broader health and viability of Bryde’s whale populations. To address these conservation challenges and mitigate human-induced threats, measures have been implemented to protect Bryde’s whales under legislative frameworks such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The protection afforded to Bryde’s whales under the Marine Mammal Protection Act represents a crucial step towards ensuring the welfare and survival of this species. By enacting legislation that prohibits activities known to harm or disrupt Bryde’s whales, policymakers aim to mitigate the impacts of human activities on whale populations and their habitats.


Population est.
Indian ocean
Pacific ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Caribbean Sea
Gulf of Mexico

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Group

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No