[first]Minke whale photographed today. There are still lots of small fish in the water giving good feeding for seabirds, seals, porpoise and whales.[/first]
Minke whale surfacing at the Corryvreckan Whirlpool

Minke whale surfacing near the Corryvreckan Whirlpool

Minke whales are between 7-10 m long and are the most common whales in Scottish waters. Minke whales are singing whales along with blue, fin, and humpback whales. They are affectionately known as ‘Stinky Minkes’ because when they blow you’ll find out what you would smell like if you never brushed your teeth and only ever ate fish!

Their name comes from the Norwegian fisherman Meincke who mistook them for their larger cousins the fin whale. He led the local whalers to find these smaller, less valuable, whales, the whalers made fun of him and the name stuck.

Minke whales are fish eaters. They herd the fish up from below trapping them with air into giant swarm called a ‘bait ball’. The fish ‘boil’ at the surface and are engulfed by the jaws of the whale.

The whales typically breathe 3-5 times at short intervals before diving into the depths for up to 20 minutes. These deep dives are preceded by a pronounced arching of the back.

Minke Whales typically live for 30-50 years; in some cases they may live for up to 60 years.

David Ainsley, Sealife Adventures