Blue whales avoid barren central gyres of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans and instead prefer areas rich in phytoplankton densities. There are four pygmy blue whale species that forage around the Indian Ocean and Southern Australia to New Zealand (Moss, 2017).
Most large whales can migrate distances equal to one-fifth the size of the Indian Ocean (Moss, 2017). Bowhead, grey, beluga, narwhals forage in the Arctic while minke whales and killer whales migrate north during winter to reproduce (Moss, 2017).
Bowhead whales live in the “Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin, Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, the Sea of Okhotsk, and from eastern Greenland and Spitsbergen to eastern Siberia” spending winter near the southern limit of pack ice moving north as ice breaks up and regresses in spring (Nooa, n.d.).
More information in relation to whale species and geography can be found in Module 21: Whale Related Links and also at the following links:
- Marine Animal Response Society (MARS)
- Ocean Institute (“Whales of the World”, n.d.)
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Fisheries & Oceans Canada, 2018)
- Smithsonian (What is the largest whale? A cetacea size comparison chart, 2018).
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