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Sei Whale

The Sei Whale, Balaenoptera borealis, is a baleen whale, the third largest rorqual after the Blue Whale and the Fin Whale.

It can be found worldwide in all oceans and adjoining seas, and prefers deep off-shore waters.

It tends to avoid polar and tropical waters and semi-enclosed bodies of water.

The Sei Whale migrates annually from cool and subpolar waters in summer to temperate and subtropical waters for winter, although in most areas the exact migration routes are not well known.

The whales reach lengths of up to 20 metres (66 ft) long and weigh up to 45 tonnes (50 tons).

It consumes an average of 900 kilograms (2,000 lb) of food each day, primarily copepods and krill, and other zooplankton.

It is among the fastest of all cetaceans, and can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour (31 mi/hr, 27 knots) over short distances.

The whale's name comes from the Norwegian word for pollock, a fish that appears off the coast of Norway at the same time of the year as the Sei Whale.

Following large-scale commercial hunting of the species between the late-nineteenth and late-twentieth centuries when over 238,000 individuals were taken, the Sei Whale is now an internationally protected species, although limited hunting still occurs under controversial research programmes conducted by Iceland and Japan.

As of 2006, the worldwide population of the Sei Whale was about 54,000, about a fifth of its pre-whaling population.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Sei Whale", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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