Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis)


Sei Whales are the third largest species in the world, after the Blue Whales and Fin Whales. We saw this species for the first time on a whale watching tour in the summer 2012 and hopefully we will see more of them in the future. This species is rarely seen on whale watching tours because they prefer deep offshore waters and avoid ships and boats for the most part.

Sei Whales have long, sleek body that is dark bluish-gray in colour and pale underneath. It is easy to mistake the Sei Whale for a common Minke Whale but Sei Whales are bigger, the dorsal fin taller and the snout rounder. Sei Whales are the least known of all the rorquals in the North Atlantic, but considered abundant in the central North Atlantic.  Very little is known of the social structure of the Sei Whales, they are mainly solitary but have been seen in big pods in particularly abundant feeding grounds.

Length: 13-21 meters
Weight: 20 - 45 tons
Life expectancy: 50-70 years
Est.population around Iceland: 10000 (23000- 25000 in the North Atlantic)
Social behavior: Mostly seen travelling alone or in pods with up to 6 individuals
Diet: Differs between oceanic areas, in the North Atlantic  they are mainly feeding on copepods and euphausiids
Suborder: Mysticeti –Baleen Whale
Family: Balaenopteridaea - Rorqual
IUCN Listing: Endangered
Major Threats: Climate change, chemical and noise pollution
Icelandic Name: Sandreyður