Distribution of seals and whales

Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

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Polar bears, seven pinniped species and five cetacean species reside full-time in the Barents Sea region. Eight additional whale species are regular seasonal migrants that come into the Barents Sea to take advantage of the seasonal, summer-time peak in productivity as the ice retreats northward.

Seal species distribution

Whale species distribution

# Species Species Species
1 Beluga whale Delphinapterus leucas distribution Bottlenose Tursiops truncatus feeding area Bottlenose Tursiops truncatus distribution
2 Fin whale Balaenoptera physalus distribition Harbour porpois Phocoena phocoena distribution Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae distribution
3 Killer whale Orcinus orca overwintring area Killer whale Orcinus orca high concentration Killer whale Orcinus orca distribution
4 Long-finned pilot whale Globicephala melas distribution Narwhale Monodon monoceros distribution Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata feeding area
5 Mink whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata distribution Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus feeding area Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus distribution

Three additional dolphin species are occasionally observed in the southern Barents Sea and sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) have been observed north of 79° off the west coast of Spitsbergen, but are still considered rare north of the Norwegian Sea, despite increasing numbers of sightings in Svalbard and elsewhere in the region. The marine mammal community of the Barents Sea and adjacent northern waters represents a vast range of body sizes, from the ringed seal (1.3 m, 60 kg) up to the blue whale (24 m, 100,000+ kg), and displays concomitant variance in life-history strategies and ecology.