Our Latest News

Visitor safety under the spotlight in new walker safety video

16/04/2018

Visitor safety in Tasmania's national parks and reserves has received a major investment with a suite of projects, including a new feature video on bushwalking preparation and safety.More

Draft Frenchmans Cap Recreation Zone Plan 2018

12/04/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has released the Draft Recreation Zone Plan 2018 for the Frenchmans Cap area.More

Redeveloped Lake Tahune Hut now open

12/04/2018

A locally designed and built, energy-efficient and sustainable hut is now welcoming bushwalkers at Lake Tahune on the Frenchmans Cap Track in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.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.