Marine mammals

Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve

Several species of marine mammals can be observed feeding and socializing in the cold and rich waters surrounding the islands of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. The presence and feeding behaviour of these mammals correspond to the movements of their prey: fish, crustaceans and molluscs for seals and the toothed whales (Odontoceti), and plankton for the baleen whales (Mysticeti).

Harbour seal

Among the marine mammals that frequent the coastal areas of the islands is the Grey seal, which feeds on octopus, lobsters and a wide variety of fish. Measuring more than 2.5 metres, it can be seen lounging on the shore or rocky islets.

Small groups of the Harbor porpoise can be seen near the islands in the summer, hunting shoals of capelin and other small fish. Measuring less than two metres, it is the smallest Odontoceti in the waters surrounding the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.

Fin whale

Much more curious than the Harbor porpoise, the Minke whale can come very close to the islands to feed. It is possible to see it alone or in a group, hunting krill shoals (crustaceans) or small fish. Eight to nine metres long, this Mysticeti is able to jump partially, or completely, out of the water, splashing its surroundings while slipping back into the water.

Most other marine mammal species prefer deeper waters and can only be seen near the islands on occasions, or when passing through during their migrations.

Marine mammals
Group Frequently Occasionally / Rarely

Harp seal (Spring / early summer)
Grey seal

Hooded seal (only in winter)
Harbour seal

Odontoceti Harbour porpoise (Summer/ early fall)

Sperm whale
Atlantic white-sided dolphin
White-beaked dolphin
Killer whale

Mysticeti Minke whale (Spring / early winter)

North Atlantic right whale
Humpback whale
Blue whale
Fin whale

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