Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)


The Minke Whale is the most common whale around Iceland and actually the world thus it is one of the main species we encounter on our whale watching tours. It is one of few species that don’t mind coming to shallower waters like here in Faxaflói Bay to feed on the abundant food available to them.

Iceland is one of the best locations to see Minke Whales and to see them feeding on the small schooling fish with usually hundreds of thousands of seabirds is one of those must see experiences. The younger individuals tend to be very curious too and come and investigate the boats.

Unfortunately they have been hunted in Iceland and the bay where we operate since 2003 so if you would like to help stop the whaling in iceland please do not eat the whale meat during your stay and make sure to choose whale friendly restaurants. Since 2007 we have participated in extensive researches on minke whales in the area that indicate that the whaling can have a dramatic effect on whale watching in the future. Please help us protect the whales in our waters by signing IFAW's petition to end whaling in Iceland!

Length: 7-11 metres
Weight: 8-10 tons
Life expectancy: 50 years
Est. population around Iceland: 40.000 - 50.000
Social behaviour: Mainly solitary but come together in feeding and mating grounds
Diet: Schooling fish, krill
Suborder: Mysticeti – Baleen Whale
Family: Balaenopteridae – Rorqual
IUCN Listing: Least Concern
Major threats: Whaling, climate change, noise and chemical pollution, marine debris, human disturbance
Other Names: Hrefna, Zwergwal, Petit rorqual, Vikval, Lahtivalas, Balenottera rostrata