This year we’re having our crew members at Prince of Whales contribute blog articles. We like to encourage an ongoing education about our Ocean environment, and there are endless topics to be covered!
Today’s article is by Linsi, one of reservation service agents. Linsi joined our team last year as a co-op student from The University of Victoria’s Business program, and liked us so much that she returned this year! Linsi is also is one of the publishers of “Green Tea News” A Student Run Sustainability Newsletter for the Greater Victoria Area. One of the distribution points for the newsletter is our office in Victoria.
People come from all over the world to see Orca’s in Victoria, BC. They are delighted when they hear that there is also a possibility of seeing Grey and Humpback Whales. But what about the Minkes?
The Minke Whale is the second smallest baleen whale in the world, and has been much ignored by the general public. Like most whales, females are larger than males (24ft versus 23ft), living anywhere from 30-50 years. Minkes can make sounds as loud as a jet taking off and like to dive deep for 2-20 minutes before taking a breath with their two blow holes.
Currently, we do not know a lot about the breeding and calving patterns of the Minke Whale, as they seem to just show up in the spring and leave in the fall. They are usually solitary animals, travelling in groups of 2-3 at the most. One of the most unusual things about Minkes is that when the light hits them a certain way the look purple!
In Victoria waters, their main predators are one of our local Killer Whales, called Transient Orca Whales. When being chased by Orcas, Minke Whales can reach speeds up to 38 km/h. There are almost 800,000 Minke Whales world wide, yet populations are decreasing as they are being vigorously hunted in Japan and Iceland. Humans hunting Minkes is a relatively recent occurrence, as previously they were thought to be too small to be pursued.
Minke Whales have a special place in Prince of Whales hearts, but don’t get too close because they are known for being very stinky animals! So next time you come to visit Victoria, don’t forget about the Minkes!