Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

The blue whale is the largest animal ever to live on our planet.  It has a long body with mottled blue-gray color that appears light blue underwater.  The mottling pattern is variable and can be used to identify individuals.  Along the west coast of the U.S., Eastern North Pacific blue whales are believed to spend winters off of Mexico and Central America, and feed during summer off the U. S. West Coast and, to a lesser extent, in the Gulf of Alaska and central North Pacific waters.  Blue whales feed almost exclusively on krill and some of the largest individuals may eat up to six tons in one day.

Current threats: The primary threats currently facing blue whales are vessel strikes. Additional threats that could potentially affect these populations include fisheries interactions, anthropogenic noise, habitat degradation, pollution, vessel disturbance, and long-term changes in climate.

To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, or to report harassment and other violations: 1-800-853-1964. Entangled marine mammals: 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425 or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16. Photograph the entangled animal if possible, and contact Cascadia Research Collective: 360-943-7325. Report derelict gear 1-855-542-3935.