© Paul Dufour
6 to 9 m / 6 to 8 tonnes
Uncommon. The minke whale is a "small" representative of the family of baleen whales. Its slender outline allows it to reach remarkable speeds (30 km / h). It feeds on schools of fish and krill.
➢ To spot it: the birds' agitation above the surface leads one to suspect its presence; its blow is quite low (2 metres); solitary habits.
➢ To identify it: dorsal fin, falciform, fused body, white spot on the pectoral fins, very arched back and caudal not visible during immersion.
© Yves Dubois
2 to 2.5 m / 70 to 135 kg
Common. It can dive up to 300 m to feed. Its diet is mainly composed of schools of fish. Its lifespan is 25 to 30 years.
➢ To spot it: near the boat (at the bow) or at a distance when it jumps or reveals its dorsal fin. Often in large groups (more than 10).
➢ To identify it: dark grey back descending in the middle of the flank, yellowish patch at the front of the flank and grey-blue patch at the rear, quite long beak, rather receding forehead, light dorsal fin with dark edges.
© Mark Conlin
1.5 to 4 m / 40 to 180 kg
Common and cosmopolitan (present in almost all the seas of the globe). Its diet is very diverse: squid, fish (including other species of sharks), octopus, etc. It can live up to 16 - 20 years.
➢ To spot it: sometimes close to the boat. When the sea is calm and transparent, it is visible underwater. The caudal and dorsal fins sometimes appear on the surface.
➢ To identify it: cobalt blue head and back, whitish flanks and belly, tapered body, very long pectoral fins.
© Sylvain Reyt
Wingspan: 100 - 118 cm
This breeding bird of the South Atlantic only shows up in France during his return migration, at the end of summer and in autumn.
➢ To spot it: with binoculars, often low-flying
➢ To identify it: silhouette and shearwater flight (long wings kept straight, alternating series of hovers and wing beats); large size, armpits marked with dark, grey-brown dark top, white collar, black bill.
© Sylvain Reyt
Wingspan: 165 - 180 cm
The largest seabird of our coast, with almost a two metre wingspan for the largest individuals! Present all year long, it breeds in Brittany in the Sept-Îles archipelago. Its extraordinary fishing technique is worth a look: when it spots a school of fish, it folds its wings about 20 m from the surface, dives, catches its fish and swallows it before even returning to the surface. Seeing it always go back with an empty bill, the Scottish fishermen dubbed him "crazy".
➢ identify it: with the naked eye near the boat or with the binoculars
➢ To identify it: large size, long neck and beak, characteristic adult, entirely white excluding the tip of the black wing, the yellowish head and grey beak.