Fin whale

Balaenoptera physalus

According to Tristan folklore, seeing a whale offshore is a sign of fine weather approaching.

Fin whale © Cephas
Fin whale © Cephas

The fin whale is the fastest of the great whales travelling to speeds of 23mph. They prefer to travel alone rather than in large pods. Its beautiful blueish grey colour and slenderness is what differentiates it from other baleen whales. Although having a very slender body it is the second largest whale after the Blue whale. Its diet in the Southern Hemisphere consists mainly of krill. Fin whales can be seen in the offshore waters around Tristan on their way to and from the Antarctic feeding grounds.

IUCN Status – Vulnerable

Length – Up to 26m

Weight – Up to 80 tons

Reproduction – Every 2-3 years

Sightings around Tristan islands – can be seen in the offshore waters around Tristan

Marine life on Tristan

The waters surrounding the Tristan islands are home to a diverse range of fish and invertebrates, including the commercially valuable crayfish.