Common minke whale

The second smallest baleen whale; despite its name, it is not common

Oregon State University

It holds the distinction of being the most abundant baleen whale species inhabiting Norwegian waters. Despite its prevalence in Norwegian seas, the Common minke whale is also found in oceans across the globe, boasting a wide distribution that encompasses both northern and southern latitudes. Unlike some of its vocal counterparts, the Common minke whale is not known for its vocalizations, contributing to its reputation as a relatively silent species within the whale community.

Throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Common minke whale remained largely overlooked by commercial whalers, deemed too small to warrant the considerable efforts required for hunting larger whale species. However, as populations of other whale species plummeted to alarming lows due to intensive whaling activities, the Common minke whale gradually emerged as a target for exploitation. In the wake of the depletion of larger whale populations, the Common minke whale became the focus of intensified whaling efforts, driven by its relative abundance and perceived economic value.

In contemporary times, the Common minke whale continues to be subjected to significant hunting pressures in certain regions of the world, notably in countries such as Norway and Japan. Under legal permits and quota systems, these countries permit the hunting of Common minke whales, resulting in the continued harvesting of these majestic marine mammals. Despite ongoing conservation efforts and advocacy for the protection of whale species, the Common minke whale remains among the few species still subjected to hunting practices on a significant scale.

The hunting of Common minke whales remains a contentious issue, sparking debates and discussions surrounding the ethical implications of whaling practices and their impact on marine ecosystems. Proponents of whaling argue that sustainable harvesting of Common minke whales contributes to local economies and cultural traditions, while opponents raise concerns about the welfare of whale populations and the potential ecological ramifications of continued hunting activities.


Population est.
Indian ocean
Pacific ocean
Arctic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Japan Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Gulf of Mexico
Okhotsk Sea

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No