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( 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.

"CLICK" on pictures for larger view.

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 lbs).

Harbour Porpoise (* © D.R. (Bon) Harriott)

This is the smallest whale found in the North Atlantic. Quite common through the 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 weigh as much as 65 kilograms (140 lbs).

For More Whale Photos go to:

* About the Artist "D.R. (Bon) Harriott"

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Island Coast Boat Tours Inc.
199 Cedar St.
Grand Manan, N.B., Canada
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