There are 21 species of whales, dolphins and porposes in Nova Scotian waters, and 6 species of seals. Walrus used to breed on Sable Island, but were hunted for their oil and disappeared from our waters by the late 1800s. Marine mammals are important components of the marine ecosystem, feeding near the middle or top of the food chain. The large quantities of food (mainly fish) which they consume means that they compete directly with people for a commercial resource.
Many whales are considered endangered, vulnerable or threatened because of their low populations numbers and slow rates of reproduction. Cetacean strandings occur occasionally in Nova Scotia, though more frequently these are dead rather than live animals. The Bay of Fundy is an especially good place to watch active whales, including Humpback, Fin, Minke and Right Whales.
Tables in this section provide information on Nova Scotian marine species such as distribution, feeding habits, reproduction and breeding grounds.
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T6.2 Oceanic Enrironments
T11.14 Marine Fishes
T11.17 Marine Invertebrates
T11.18 Rare and Endangered Animals
T12.11 Animals and Resources
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