Fin Whales in Tenerife
Fin Whale Sightings
The Fin whale is the second most commonly encountered species of baleen whale we observe during our whale and dolphin watching tours in Costa Adeje, Tenerife. The Fin whales can be are found over a large area of the Teno – Rasca Marine Protected area from just 1 kilometre from the coast to several kilometres offshore. There is a population of Fin whales known to regularly visit the Canary Islands archipelago with many individuals identified in the Photo ID research catalog.
Between Tenerife and La Gomera the steep volcanic islands drop off creating a channel over 3 kilometres deep. Between the islands the currents strengthen and create upwelling which in turn feeds the small schooling fish the Fin whales arrive to feast on. During the year as currents shift and temperatures change schooling fish populations arrive with the Fin whales following. We can find Fin whales feeding among ocean birds and dolphins which can make for very intense moments of activity.
Fin Whale Info
The Fin Whale is known as the ‘greyhound of the sea’ as it is a very fast moving species regularly transiting at 35 kilometres per hour! They reach over 20 meters in length and over 50 tonnes. They are found throughout the worlds oceans with a recognised subspecies found only in the North Atlantic being the population here. The body is gray on top with several lighter chevrons and a white belly. They are also uniquely coloured with a white jaw and baleen on the right side of the head while the left is dark grey.
The Fin Whale is a migratory species spending winters in warmer temperate and tropical waters where it breeds and summers in oceans closer to the poles where there is more food. However, their migration patters are not well understood. It is a filter feeder, making surface lunges on its side passing through schooling fish or in deeper water when it lunge feeds on krill or other crustaceans rarely deeper than 200 meters.