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Balaenoptera borealis   Lesson, 1828

sei whale
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Image of Balaenoptera borealis (sei whale)
Balaenoptera borealis
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Mammalia | Cetacea | Balaenopteridae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Pelagic; depth range 0 - 342 m (Ref. 116169).  Tropical; 8°C - 25°C (Ref. 75906); 90°N - 90°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Circumglobal: Balaenoptera borealis borealis: Greenland, Iceland, Norway, North Carolina, Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, South Carolina, Gulf of Mexico, Bay of Campeche, Caribbean Sea, Cuba, Anguilla, Morocco, Mauritania, Alaska, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Japan, Southern California, Ogasawara, Mexico, Islas Revilla Gigedo (Pacific Ocean); Balaenoptera borealis schlegellii: Antarctica, Brazil, Angola, South Africa, Western Australia, Cook Straits, New Zealand, Peru, Java Indonesia (Ref. 1522).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 1,330.0  range ? - ? cm Max length : 1,800 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1394); max. published weight: 30.0 t (Ref. 1394)

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Largest of the sei whales. As the larger rorquals became scarce in recent decades, hunting pressure on sei, Bryde’s, and minke whales increased, largely in the Antarctic. Although heavily depleted, sei whales have recovered somewhat more successfully from hunting than other large baleen whales (Ref. 1394). Found in open oceans (Ref. 1394); feed at the shelf break and seaward throughout the summer (Ref. 96832). Restricted to mid-latitude temperate zones. Skims copepods and other small prey types (Ref. 1394); also feeds on euphausiids and a variety of fish including saury and whiting. Also a "swallower". Zooplankton concentrations influence where the whales feed. Migratory (Ref. 96832). Commonly in groups of 2 to 5 individuals (Ref. 801).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. (Ref. 1394)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)

  Endangered (EN) (A1abd); Date assessed: 25 June 2018

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production) | FishSource | Sea Around Us


More information

Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 0.2 - 3.1, mean 1.5 (based on 19380 cells).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Very high vulnerability (90 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)