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Insight to our minke whale research

A little insight on what we are working on with our Minke whales…

Currently we are working together with our MSc student Eline from the Netherlands to gain a deeper knowledge of our Minke whales in Faxaflói. Not only do we want to know more about them scientifically, but we also are trying to find out how important these whales are to our passengers and thus to people who most likely have never seen this species before.

To do so, our passengers have been invited to take part in a quick 6-question survey on our tours, which we are evaluating. Results thus far show that this species is highly valued, not only currently but people wish for it to exist for future generations. Thus, we are also going into analysis of much of the data we have collected since 2007. Here are some of the most interesting numbers we have calculated thus far: Out of all the minke whales we have encountered and been able to identify using photo- identification, we have seen 71.1% more than once and nearly half of them 5 times or more!

Our most encountered minke whale was seen, successfully photographed and identified 52 times in the 11 years we are analysing. We have named this Minke whale Peanut and he is a part of our VIP wall in our reception boat Fífill as well as in our passenger catalogues we have on board our vessels.

Peanut (see tip of dorsal fin)

Such numbers are great news because it shows what we already knew simply from our observations - Faxaflói is an important feeding ground to this species which they return to year after year.

Article by head researcher Sabrina Voswinkel


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