( Established 1991 - Canadian Coast Guard Approved - CAA &
AAA Approved )
The following are the six whale species which are most commonly seen on
our whale watching excursions. Finbacks, Minke, Humpbacks and the North
Atlantic Right Whales are baleen whales. This simply indicates that they
have baleen plates or a food filtering system in their mouths which
allows them to consume entire schools of prey from the water. Harbour
Porpoise and Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins, on the other hand, are toothed
whales often consuming individual prey members - like fish or squid.
Finback Whale (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)
This is the Bay of Fundy's "giant". The most frequently seen whale in the bay, it is the second largest whale in the world. It can grow to 24
metres (80 ft), - much longer than your average transport truck - and
weigh 73 tonnes (80 tons). The finback has a tall "blow", the jet of
moisture and air shot up from a nostril on the top of its head. Its head
also bears a creamy white patch on the right side. Finback whales are
evenly distributed throughout the mouth of the bay. Despite their size,
they are tremendously fast and are occasionally referred to as the
"greyhounds of the sea".
Minke Whale (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)
The minke (pronounced "ming-key") is one of the smallest of the baleen
whales (a toothless whale with a unique food filtering maw). It grows to
no more than nine metres (30 ft) and weighs approximately nine tonnes
(10 tons). The minke has a sharply-pointed snout that often emerges from
the water before the body. It also has white flipper bands and a small
distinct dorsal fin. Minke behavior varies from encounter to encounter.
It is often curious and makes great whale watching. However, it can be
elusive and at times, difficult to spot.
Humpback Whale (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)
The humpback is the "clown of the sea" a name earned by the way it
behaves. It is a "bumpy" whale with fleshy knobs on its snout and bumps
along the leading edge of long whitish flippers. The humpback grows to a
maximum of 18 metres (60 ft) and may weigh
in excess of 36 tonnes (40 tons).
North Atlantic Right Whale (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)
This is one of the rarest whales in the world! In Canada, the right
whale is considered "endangered" (approx. 300 left today). Easily
identified by its complete lack of a dorsal
fin, it has bumpy whitish skin patches on its head. The right whale
grows to 15 metres
(50 ft) and may weigh 45 tonnes (50 tons).
Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)
Imagine a pod of 500 dolphins in the Bay of Fundy. That's the size of
pods (or animal clusters) that have been recorded here although groups
of two or three are the normal sight. Often seen feeding along with
other larger whale species, the white-side is easily identified by its
prominent, highly arched dorsal fin and the white markings along its
sides. It grows to be 3 metres (10 ft) and may weigh 250 kilograms (550
Harbour Porpoise (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)
This is the smallest whale found in the North Atlantic. Quite common
Bay of Fundy, it is identified by its triangular dorsal fin, grayish
color and small size.
This porpoise usually doesn't grow to more than 2 metres (6 ft) and may
much as 65 kilograms (140 lbs).
Do you have any questions?
Island Coast Boat Tours Inc.
199 Cedar St.
Grand Manan, N.B., Canada
Tel: (506) 662-8181
Fax: (506) 662-9904