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

Sei Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
The Sei Whale is a slim, streamlined whale. They have a pronounced longitudinal ridge from the blowhole to the rostrum and the dorsal fin is set about two thirds the way along the body. Sei Whales are dark or blue grey in colour often with light mottling on sides due to parasites and Cookiecutter Shark bites. The female can reach up to 21m in length.

General Information

Sei Whale migration patterns are unclear but they have been spotted about 50 km south of Hobart and the Tasman Peninsula sometimes in groups of up to seven and at other times singly. They feed on small crustaceans such as amphipods.They feed by skimming the sea surface for food with an open mouth or by taking great gulps of food and water. Generally averaging 16 km per hour they have also been recorded at speeds of 50km per hour for short sprints. They can live up to 65 years of age and breed every two or three years although not in Australian waters. They travel to warmer waters to breed and may be seen east of New Zealand as they travel north. In February March they travel south to the Antarctic feeding grounds. The southern ocean subspecies is Balaenoptera borealis schlegellii.

Stranding Information

Sei Whales are a very rare strander with only two records from Tasmania, one in 1963 and the other in 1980. Both were single dead specimens. The only other current record from Australia was for a single dead specimen from the Northern Territory.