Long-Finned Pilot Whales
Long-finned Pilot whale (Globicepha/a melas)
Group formation: Matrifocal groups (5-15) several matrilineal groups (size 50-200)
Size: males 7.8m, females 58mv calf 1.8m
Weight: males 2_3tons, females 1.3tons, calf 100kg
Age: males 40 yrs, females 60 yrs
Sexual maturity: males 12-15 yrs, females 6-15 yrs
Gestation: 12-15mths, 3-5 yrs in between births
Weaning: 27 months or longer (up to 10 years)
Diet: squid (cephalopods) and some fish
Distribution: Two sub-species North Atlantic (Globicephala melas melas) widespread to at least 680 N, and the Southern
Hemisphere (Globicephala melas edwardii) from 19—60' S They do not share the warmer waters with short-finned pilot whales.
Norway: all along the Nomegian coast, seen regularly inside the VestfJord_ High peak season from May-September for group
gatherings, breeding and feeding.
Conservation Status: Data Deficient ver 3.1, Pop. trend: unknown
Threats: whaling (Faeroe Islands, Japan, Greenland), plastic and chemical pollution, man-made noise impacts (seismic surveys,
military sonar), entanglement in fishing gear, over fishing, captivity.
Here are videos from pilot whales taken in the VestfJord during our research trips:
Seismic surveys used to find oil, gas and deep sea minerals are one of the biggest problems in the sea nowadays, especially the
coats of Norway is full of such surveys during the summer months when most whales migrate, feed and breed there' These
extremely loud sounds (SL 260dB) can killer marine mammals directly or scare them away on longer distances, these signals can
be heard over 3000km away'
This video demonstrates seismic surveys 300-500km away and pilot whales in the VestfJord