Blue whales occur in all oceans, primarily along the edge of continental shelves and ice fronts. In the southern hemisphere, blue whales generally stay south of 40 degrees S during summer before moving northward past Tasmania and the Australian coastline as winter approaches.
The blue whale is the largest living animal on earth, reaching up to 30 m in length and weighing over 160 tonnes. The body shape is mainly narrow, slightly arched and streamlined. Body colour is a light bluish grey mottled with greyish white or lighter underneath. A small dorsal fin is situated at the end of the lower back. They occur in all oceans, primarily along the edge of continental shelves and ice fronts. Threats include direct killing (illegal in Australian waters), entanglement in nets or other water debris, collision with oceanic vessels, marine pollution leading to disease or strandings, e.g. oil spills, competition and depletion of food stocks by fisheries, especially unsustainable harvest of krill, disturbance and harassment.
Source; Bryant, S. L. and Jackson, J. (1999). Tasmania’s Threatened Fauna Handbook. Threatened Species Unit, Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart.
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