The fin whale is the second largest animal in the world, after the blue whale, measuring up to 20-22m long! It is the only baleen whale (Misticeti= whales having baleen plates for filtering food, instead of teeth for chewing) in the Mediterranean sea, and it feeds on small schooling fish, squid and crustaceans, including copepods and krill.
While its whole body is light-dark grey, the right mandible is always white, a distinguishing feature of this species.
In the Mediterranean Sea fin whales migrate every spring (April-June) from South to North very close to the coast of Catalonia, when it is easiest to see them from a vessel, and sometimes even from land. In the Strait of Gibraltar they are usually seen sailing into the Atlantic in spring and summer, passing very close to the Andalusian coast. End of summer and autumn they travel the opposite direction, back into the Mediterranean Sea. In Cork county waters they can be seen between September and December. In the Canary Islands they can be seen in all islands by the end of winter and beggining of spring.