Fin Whale
Balenoptera physalus


Scientific Name: Balenoptera physalus

Other Names: Finback, Finner, Common Rorqual, Razorback, Herring Whale

Suborder: Mysticeti

Family: Balenopteridae

This dark-grey to brownish-black whale has a white underside and distinctive pale colouration on the right side of the lower jaw. The head a flat and V-shaped with a longitudinal rostrum ridge. The dorsal fin is low and located nearer the tail.

Maximum Length
Adult: 17-27m
Newborns: 6-7m 

Maximum Weight
Adult: 30.4 - 81.2 tons
Newborns: 1 - 1.9 tons

Fin Whale Ecology

Range:Worldwide but rare in tropical waters.

Usual Habitat: Relatively deep, offshore waters

Usual group size: 3 - 7 but up to 50 - 100 in rich feeding areas

Main Diet: Krill, other crustaceans, fish and squid

Local population: Unknown

 Global range of the Fin Whale

Fin Whales are likely to be found in the dark blue areas

 Conservation Information

Protection and Conservation Status

IUCN Conservation Status: 
Fin Whales are listed as "Endangered" on the IUCN red list.

SPAW Protocol:  Fin 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 Fin Whales in Trinidad and Tobago
There are currently no reports of this species in Trinidad and Tobago.

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:

  • Al√ęsha Naranjit (Illustration of Fin Whale)
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