Minke whale

Sharon Nieukirk

Latin name: Balaenoptera acutorostrata

The minke whale is the smallest of the baleen whales and is found in virtually all of the world’s oceans. This whale’s small size and cryptic behavior make it challenging to study in the field. However, minke whales produce very distinct calls that can be recorded via passive acoustic instrumentation. Sharon Nieukirk and Dr. David Mellinger collaborated with the National Marine Fisheries Service and other marine mammal acoustic experts to conduct a passive acoustic survey for minke whales in Atlantic waters.  Data from this cutting edge collaboration were used to identify migration routes, migration timing and potential wintering grounds for this species.