Our Latest News

Lookout at Bruny Island Neck reopens

12/11/2018

Bruny Island is one of Tasmania's most loved tourism destinations, and the upgrade of vital infrastructure will ensure it can reach its full tourism potential.More

History unlocked at Richmond Gaol

12/11/2018

Investment in the restoration of the Gaoler's House at Richmond Gaol will enhance the visitor experience at one of Tasmania's key historic sites.More

Campfire restrictions in national parks and reserves

09/11/2018

Restrictions on campfires, pot fires and other solid fuel stoves will come in to place from next Wednesday (November 14) at identified Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) campgrounds around the State to help reduce the risk of bushfires.More

Fin Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
Also known as the Finback, the Fin Whale has a tall, falcate dorsal fin about two thirds of the way down its body. It has a sleek streamlined body with a V-shaped head, often with several light grey V-shaped chevrons behind the head. The body is distinctively coloured: black or dark brown grey above and white below. They also have a distinctive asymmetric colouring of the jaw where the right jaw is white whilst the left jaw is dark. The southern hemisphere Fin Whales are a subspecies Balaenoptera physalus quoyi and its status is vulnerable. They can occasionally be spotted off both the east and west coasts of Tasmania. Their winter migration pattern is unknown. Like the Blue Whale they can live up to 90 or so years. They reach up to 26m in length.

General Information

Distribution map of sightings and strandings (click to enlarge)
Fin Whales feed on krill and small fish and can be in small groups of up to 10 animals which do not appear to be closely bonded. Known as the greyhounds of the ocean they average speeds of around 17km per hour over distances of twenty thousand kilometres per year as they travel from the Antarctic to the tropics. They make the lowest frequency sound in nature which can be heard by other Fin Whales thousands of kilometres away.

Stranding Information

There are no records of live strandings of Fin Whales from Australia and stranding events are very rare. There is at least one from Victoria, two each from South Australia and Western Australia and three from Tasmania.