Meet the Sei Whale – the third largest whale in the world – reaching lengths of up to 60 feet. They are also one of the fastest aquatic mammals, swimming at speeds of up to 34 miles per hour.
Sei Whales inhabit most oceans. They prefer deep waters far from the coast. However, much about the Sei Whale remains a mystery. They are not very active on water surfaces; almost never lifting their flukes above the surface and rarely ever breaching. It’s no surprise that the movement and migration patterns of Sei Whales are not well known.
Further, their social structure adds to their mystery. Little is known about their behavior, but they have been observed alone and in small groups of up to six.
On average, a Sei Whale can eat about 2,000 pounds of food per day. They feed on plankton, cephalopods, and small fish. Needless to say, their place in the food chain plays an important role in the health of the ocean’s eco-system.
In past years, the Sei Whale population was greatly impacted by commercial whaling. The species was hunted from the mid-1800s, through the mid-1900s– killed for their meat and oil. Commercial whaling was outlawed in the 1980s. However, dozens of Sei Whales are still killed each year for “scientific programs.”
Sei Whale populations are further compromised today by threats such as pollution, vessel strikes, and entanglement. Although their numbers have decreased, we can make a difference.
Take action by reaching out to, and supporting organizations that strive to reduce the risk of entanglement, and create safe shipping practices for marine life. Additionally, report any violations / illegal fishing practices you witness.