Balaenoptera physalus   (Linnaeus, 1758)

Fin whale

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2050
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Balaenoptera physalus  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
Upload your photos 
| All pictures | Google image |
Image of Balaenoptera physalus (Fin whale)
Balaenoptera physalus

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Mammalia | Cetartiodactyla | Balaenopteridae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 75906); depth range 0 - 230 m (Ref. 1005).  Tropical; 90°N - 90°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Circumglobal except the Arctic: Balaenoptera physalus physalus: Svalbard, Barents Sea, North Carolina, Portugal, Cantabrian Sea, Newfoundland, Gulf of Mexico, Greater Antilles, Faroe Islands, Norway, Canary Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Kuril Islands, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Sea of Japan, Japan, Taiwan, Ogasawara, Hawaii, California, Baja California, Gulf of California; Balaenoptera physalus quoyi: Ross Ice Shelf, Brazil, Gabon, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Madagascar, Western Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Peru, Chile (Ref. 1522).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 2,700 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1394); max. published weight: 75.0 t (Ref. 1394)

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

The largest of the fin whales. Seen near shore, most commonly where deep water approaches the coast. Feeds on small invertebrates, schooling fishes, and squid. They are active lunge feeders (Ref. 1394). They are preyed upon by great white sharks (Ref. 32140). Following depletion of blue whale stocks, whalers shifted their attention to fin whales. Populations everywhere were substantially reduced. At present the worldwide population does not seem to appear in any immediate danger (Ref. 1394). Minimum depth from Ref. 116169. Seen near shore, most commonly where deep water approaches the coast (Ref. 1394). Commonly in groups of 2 to 7 individuals (Ref. 801). Feeds on small I krill (Ref. 122680), invertebrates, schooling fishes, and squid. They are active lunge feeders (Refs. 1394, 122680).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. (Ref. 1394)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A1d); Date assessed: 04 February 2018

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO - Fisheries: landings, species profile | FishSource | Sea Around Us


More information

Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | Fishipedia | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 0.2 - 4.6, mean 1.5 (based on 25596 cells).
Resilience (Ref. 69278): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.25-0.27; tm=17.5).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): Very high vulnerability (90 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Unknown.