The Bay of Fundy
In Micmac lore, it was a giant whale, who angered the god
Glooscap and created such a splash with his mighty tail, that the water sloshes
back and forth to this day.
In actuality, the story of
the tremendous Bay of Fundy tides is no less the stuff of legends.
Some 350 million years ago, it was not Glooscap, but rather
the sun and moon who conspired to create this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
That is, some 100 million years before the first dinosaurs roamed the earth,
this pulsing arm of the North Atlantic was formed, its unique shape amplifying
the tides to staggering proportions.
New Brunswick's Bay
of Fundy is an eco-attraction on par with such marvels as the Great Barrier
Reef of Australia and the Rain Forest of Brazil. It's mighty tides are the
greatest on earth. Every day, twice daily, one hundred billion tons of seawater
roll in and out of the Bay. At low tide, you can literally walk on the ocean
floor. At high tide, just six hours later, your footprints will be covered by
the ocean. In some places, the vertical difference between high and low tide is
14 meters- roughly the same height as a four storey building!
Fundy's onslaught of water every 12 hours and 30 minutes is
estimated to nearly equal the 24 hour flow of all the rivers in the world! How
nutrient-rich are Fundy's waters? In just two weeks, sandpipers feeding on
Fundy shores will double their weight! Bon appetit!! For many people , the only
whales they ever see are in the movies, or in large tanks in aquariums. Come to
New Brunswick and see them up close, in their natural habitat! The rich feeding
grounds around the Fundy Isles in southwestern New Brunswick make the Bay of
Fundy one of the world's most accessible sites for viewing marine mammals.
Every summer whales of all sizes ( up to 15 species of toothed and baleen
whales) come to the Bay of Fundy, one of the marine wonders of the world, to
mate, play and feast on the bountiful supply of food churned up twice a day by
the powerful tides. The stirring of deep nutrient-rich water into shallow
surface water causes immense blooms of plankton - passively floating food that
nourishes all marine life. That's more kinds of whales more often than anywhere
Whales in the
Whales The Bay of Fundy giant and the second largest in the world. It can
grow to 24 meters (80 feet) and weight 73 tonnes (80 tons). Finbacks have a
tall "blow" and are evenly distributed throughout the mouth of the
Whales Often called the "clown of the sea", the humpback whale is
appropriately nicknamed, as you'll agree when you see one play. It is a "bumpy"
whale with a fleshy knob on its snout and bumps along the leading edge of long
whitish flippers. It can grow to a maximum of 18 meters (60 feet) and may weigh
36 tonnes (40 tons)
Pronounced "ming key" this is one of the smallest of the baleen whales (a
toothless whale with a unique food- filtering maw) It grows to nine meters (30
feet) and weights approximately nine tonnes (10 tons) The minke has a
sharply-pointed snout that often emerges from the water before the
Atlantic Right WhaleOne of the rarest whales in the world! There are fewer
that 350 of these giants left in the world and they are known to mate in the
Bay of Fundy. The right whale can be easily identified by its complete lack of
dorsal fin and the bumpy whitish skin patches on its head. It grows to 15
meters (50 feet) and may weight 45 tonnes (50 tons)
is a recent new comer to the Bay of Fundy on a regular basis. They feed by
skimming small plankton, despite being able expand their mouth by inflating the
throat pleats. They are fast swimmers and dive for about ten minutes. While at
the surface, their path can be tracked because they leave "footprints" on the
water surface. A whaling station operated at Blanford, NS until 1970, hunting
sei whales but the population is not considered threatened.
Killer Whale although not recognized as a regular visitor to our bay, two
pods of these most famous killer whales were spotted near Grand Manan and Brier
Island in August of 2000. The last known siting of these whales was in 1985. We
can only hope that this is a sign of change, and that we once again get to
enjoy these wonderful animals in their natural habitat.
Whale the largest animal on land and water is also considered one of the
most gentlest. Although they don't visit the Bay on a regular bases, they are
spotted during their migration periods some times following their food into the
are stories taken from local New Brunswick Newspapers about the whales in the
Bay of Fundy.
Images Just a few images of whales, see if you can figure out what species
each one is.
It's always fun to look at pictures of whales, but have you ever heard one
talk? On this page you can download all sorts of different wav. files to listen
to at your leisure.
Whale Here's a way to not only admire these majestic beasts of the sea but
to actually help in their cause. The right whale population is down to 350
whales, this is just a fraction of the original numbers. With your help maybe
we can help build these numbers back up.
Ethics This new addition to our site is designed to help you learn the
proper way to behave when involved with a whale watching expedition. The
information compiled here is for both the tourist and the tour
Here's a few links that we have found very informative on whales and other
Bay We've showed you what swims in the bay, now how about a look at what is
living on the bottom of the bay.
Dolphins in the
Network: currently being established in the Bay of Fundy. This team is
primarily focused on right whales but will be capable of disentangling other
species as the need arises. This is a co-operative program with a number of
groups including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, New Brunswick
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, East Coast Ecosystems, New England
Aquarium, Center for Coastal Studies, local whale watch companies, interested
residents and the GMWSRS. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans provided the
funds for equipment purchased. East Coast Ecosytems answers and maintains the
toll-free number (1-888-854 4440).
Public comments are being solicited on the
proposed recovery strategy for North Atlantic right whale (endangered) now
protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA):
Recovery efforts, as provided for under
SARA, are being led by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for this species. The first
step in the recovery process is the development of a recovery strategy which is
intended to set out goals, objectives and the general direction of activities
for the conservation and recovery of species. The proposed recovery strategy
for the North Atlantic right whale has been posted on the SARA Public Registry
for a 60-day comment period. The final version of this strategy will be posted
following consideration of all comments, and will be used to direct the
recovery efforts for the North Atlantic right whale.
To view this strategy and provide comments,
please visit the SARA Public Registry at:
Alternatively, please contact the Species at
Risk Coordination Office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: Toll free: 1-866-891-0771 a