Bryde's Whale
Balenoptera edeni


Scientific Name: Blalenoptera edeni

Other Names: Tropical Whale, Eden's Whale, Common Bryde's Whale

Suborder: Mysticeti

Family: Balenopteridae 

Bryde's Whales are large streamlined rorquals with dark-grey, brown or blackish colouration and a paler underside. The dorsal fin is small, sickle-shaped and located three-quater way along the back and the flippers are relatively large with concave edges. The diagnostic three rostrum ridges (a longer ridge along the center of the head and two shorter ridges on either side) is only visible on close inspection.

These animals usually feed alone or in mother-calf pairs. They are sometimes inquisitive and will approach and swim alongside boats. They rarely show more than the top of their heads when surfacing.

Maximum Length
Male: 15m
Female: 17m
Newborn: 4m

Maximum Weight
Adult: 40,000kg

Bryde's Whale Ecology

Range: Tropical and warm temperate waters usually between 40°N and 40°S in waters warmer that 16.3°C.

Usual Habitat: Can be found both offshore and inshore.

Usual group size: Small groups of 1-7 but can be seen in loose groups of 10 - 30 in areas rich in food.

Main Diet: Larger plankton and pelagic schooling fish. Unlike most baleen whales, they do not migrate over large distances and they feed all year long.

Local population: Unknown

Global range of the Bryde's Whale

Dark blue areas indicate where Bryde's Whales are likely to be found

Conservation Information

Protection and Conservation Status

IUCN Conservation Status: 
Bryde's Whales
are listed as "Data Deficient" on the IUCN red list.

SPAW Protocol:  Bryde's Whales are cetaceans, which are listed under Annex II of the SPAW protocol. As such they require total protection under article 11 of this protocol which prohibits the "taking, possession, killing and commercial trade of the species, their parts or products". The SPAW protocol was created to help with the implementation and promotion of the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Annexes of the SPAW protocol can be found here.

Local Laws: Cetaceans are protected under the Conservation of Wildlife Act of Trinidad and Tobago which offers protection to all species not listed under the second or third schedules of this act.

Reports of Bryde's Whales in Trinidad and Tobago

This is currently being researched and written. It will appear here shortly.


The above information was obtained from the following sources:

  • A Princeton Field Guide: Whales Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals of the World by Hadoram Shirihai and Brett Jarrett (2006)
  • Smithsonian Handbooks: Whales Dolphins and Porpoises by Mark Carwardine and illustrated by Martin Camm (2002)
  • The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society's Species Guide at
  • The IUCN Redlist at
  • The SPAW protocol Annexes with links available at,83

We would like to thank the following people for the use of the art work and photographs:

  • Alësha Naranjit (Illustration of Bryde's Whale)
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