Our Latest News

Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk

19/01/2018

In the interests of public safety, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has brought in extensive campfire restrictions as the fire risk continues to increase this summer.More

Improved toilet facilities at Bruny Island

16/01/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed work on a new toilet facility at the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve.More

Further upgrade to South Coast Track

05/01/2018

The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania's great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.More

Sei Whale

Drawing by Graham Sanders
The Sei Whale is a slim, streamlined whale. They have a pronounced longitudinal ridge from the blowhole to the rostrum and the dorsal fin is set about two thirds the way along the body. Sei Whales are dark or blue grey in colour often with light mottling on sides due to parasites and Cookiecutter Shark bites. The female can reach up to 21m in length.

General Information

Sei Whale migration patterns are unclear but they have been spotted about 50 km south of Hobart and the Tasman Peninsula sometimes in groups of up to seven and at other times singly. They feed on small crustaceans such as amphipods.They feed by skimming the sea surface for food with an open mouth or by taking great gulps of food and water. Generally averaging 16 km per hour they have also been recorded at speeds of 50km per hour for short sprints. They can live up to 65 years of age and breed every two or three years although not in Australian waters. They travel to warmer waters to breed and may be seen east of New Zealand as they travel north. In February March they travel south to the Antarctic feeding grounds. The southern ocean subspecies is Balaenoptera borealis schlegellii.

Stranding Information

Sei Whales are a very rare strander with only two records from Tasmania, one in 1963 and the other in 1980. Both were single dead specimens. The only other current record from Australia was for a single dead specimen from the Northern Territory.