The Bay of Fundy is one of the richest marine habitats in the world and is therefore the summer feeding ground for many marine mammals, seabirds and saltwater invertebrates. When you take part in a whale watching adventure on the Bay of Fundy you can expect to see minke, fin- and humpback whales as well as the rarest large mammal on Earth – the North Atlantic Right Whale.
Bay of Fundy Whales
- Minke Whale: The smallest and most common baleen whale (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2010), minkes are spotted in the Bay of Fundy throughout the summer months and into the fall.
- Humpback Whale: Another baleen whale, Humpbacks have been referred to as acrobats of the ocean as they breech out of the water. They are also one of the noisiest and most creative whales when it comes of vocalization and have the largest range of frequencies. While there are between 10,000-15,000 humpbacks swimming in our oceans, they are an endangered species. (EnchantedLearning.com, 2010)
- Finback Whales: The second largest species of whale in the world, Finback whales are known for being fast swimmers. Also a baleen whale, Finbacks are protected under the Species at Risk Act.
- North Atlantic Right Whale: Named for being the “right” whale to kill by 19th century whalers – due to its slow speed and therefore ease of catch – the North Atlantic Right Whale was almost hunted to the point of extinction in the late 1800s. Today these magnificent creatures are on the endangered species list with an approximate population of 425 remaining; a number that is slowly on the rise (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2010). A large portion on this population stops each August/September in the Bay of Fundy to fed enroute to their winter homes.
New Brunswick Museum
The New Brunswick Museum, found in Market Square in Uptown Saint John, contains three floors of galleries and exhibits. In the “Hall of Great Whales”, a favorite gallery within the museum, hear the tale of a North Atlantic Right Whale named Delilah who washed up on the shores of Fundy, touch a piece of baleen, learn interesting facts about minkes and humpbacks and see skeletons and full-body models of several species of whales including the right whale.
Whale watching is a popular activity near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy as the whales do not travel too far into the Bay. There are a number of reputable whale watching companies along both sides of the Bay who set out on the seas in a variety of vessels including catamarans, zodiacs, fishing boats and sailing yachts.
Other common sightings on these adventures include harbour porpoise, dolphins, sharks, seals, bald eagles and a variety of seabird colonies, sometimes including the Atlantic Puffin.
Whale Watching Communities
If you enjoyed this 22nd article in our “52 Reasons to visit the Bay of Fundy” series then we recommend you check out the overview of all the articles in this series. You might also want to use our RSS feed so you won’t miss any articles in the future!