Bryde's Whale -- Cetacean Info at Whale Songs

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Balaenoptera edeni

DISCOVERED: Anderson, 1878

COMMON NAME: Bryde's Whale, Tropical Whale


* Occurs between 40 degrees N and 40 degrees S latitude- may extend further into warmer currents
* Most common in tropical and subtropical areas- between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S
* Local pockets of abundance off South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, Fiji and western Australia
* Migration of short distances for offshore animals
* No known long distance migrations


* 3 parallel longitudinal ridges on head
* Prominent dorsal fin
* Skin may appear mottled with circular scars- caused by parasites or Cookie-cutter Sharks
* Dark upper side
* Slender, short flippers
* 40-70 throat grooves
* Pointed tips on flippers
* Light purple-gray, blue-gray or creamy underside
* Broad, flattened tail stock
* Flukes may be dirty white on undersides



* Prefers water temperatures above 68 degrees F (20 degrees C)
* Tropical, subtropical and some warm temperate waters


* Typically makes sudden changes in direction
* Feeds year-round
* Euphausiids are important component of diet
* Schooling fish are preferred- including pilchards, anchovies, herring and mackerel
* Bonito and cephalopods also taken, as well as sharks


* Average length at sexual maturity= 12.5m (females), 12.2m (males)
* Age at sexual maturity = 10 yrs (females), 9-13 yrs (males)
* Gestation period lasts one year
* Lactation lasts less than one year
* Females give birth every second year
* Newborn calves are 3.4m at birth


* Not much known
* Sometimes approaches boats
* May breach clear of water
* Averages 4-7 blows with a long dive of up to 8 minutes- may stay under for longer
* Loose groups- spread over several miles
* Rarely shows top of head
* Often shows back and dorsal fin before a long dive
* Irregular dive sequence
* Hazy blow


* Northern Indian Ocean= no information available on status- although some sightings off Sri Lanka in 1982; total population estimated at 13,854 and exploitable pop. at 9,144
* North Atlantic= not featured greatly in commercial catches, no data on abundance from sightings available
* North Pacific= management of 3 stocks
* Western North Pacific= 23,500 in 1986, exploitable pop. at over 17,000; total=18,000
* Eastern North Pacific= 10,000 in total
* East China Sea= no information available
* Southern Hemisphere= new stock divisions introduced in 1980 and 1981
* South Atlantic= no exact figures available
* South African Inshore Stock= cumulative catch of 808 whales between 1950 and 1967
* Peruvian Stock= exploitable pop. estimated at 5,723-25,550 with central value of 15,638 in 1983
* Southern Indian Ocean= total pop. in 1980 estimated at 13,854
* Solomon Islands Stock= 1,800 in 1982
* Western South Pacific Stock- 59,400 total pop. in 1980
* Eastern South Pacific= In 1980, total pop. of 13,194 and exploitable pop. of 8,708


* Early land and pelagic operations by various countries in tropical and warm temperate waters may have caught the species
* Except for Pacific and southern African populations, most stocks have not been exploited to any great extent
* Interest of exploiting Bryde's more widely in the 1970s- Japan conducted research cruises, USSR also made limited investigations
* Products used from Bryde's whale catch in the Indian and Pacific Oceans include oil, collagen peptide, frozen meat and blubber, and other frozen products
* Average of 9.346 tons of products used for human consumption per whale- 68.4% of total body weight of the whale