Humpback Whale Facts

Over the past few winters, most people living in Tromsø have had the opportunity to see large amounts of both humpback- and killer whales close to their hometown as the whales have used the fjords off Kvaløya to feed on herring for much of the winter-seasons.

Adult humpback whales are on average 14-15 meters long and weigh ca 40 tons, thus they are one of the largest mammals on the planet. They are also one of the easiest whales to identify at sea. They are large robust baleen whales with extremely long pectoral flippers that may be as long as 5 meters. Compared to most other whales, humpbacks also often display a huge variety of acrobatic behaviors at the surface, and may leap clear out of the water (breaching) and slap at the water surface with their long flippers.

Their scientific name Megaptera novaeangliae translates to “The big-winged New Englander”. “Big winged” is a reference to the long white flippers of the whale and “New Englander” refers to the fact that the species was first described in the waters off New England in the US.

Encounters with such playful giants are truly awe-inspiring and seeing a humpback whale makes one of their characteristic jumps in the air or just gently breaking the water surface next to your boat can be a memory for life.

Page administrator: Rikardsen, Audun
Last updated: 15.02.2022 10:20