We would like to tell you about a very special species of whale, the Minke Whale.

The minke whale, is a streamlined baleen whale found in most of the world's oceans. Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), are the smallest baleen whale in North American waters and the second-smallest baleen whale worldwide Minke whales are cetaceans that belong to the Suborder Mysticeti, the baleen whales.

Baleen whales have hundreds of baleen plates hanging from their upper jaw that allow the whale to separate its prey from the ocean water. Minke whales are part of the group of baleen whales called the rorquals, and have pleats in their throat that expand when the whale is feeding. Minkes are the smallest rorqual. Minke whales have about 500 baleen plates and feed primarily on crustaceans (e.g., krill), plankton and small schooling fish.

Minke whales are distributed throughout the world's oceans in tropical to polar waters. Most migrate seasonally, breeding in warmer areas in the winter and feeding in colder areas during the summer.
Northern minkes are found in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, from the arctic to the equator, depending on the season. Antarctic minkes are found in waters around Antarctica in the summer and closer to the equator in the winter.

As these whales are not a protected species, they are relentlessly hunted by the Japansese whaling fleet. The Japanse are also so brazen that they hunt these animals in a whale sanctuary. We have to make all efforts to stop this before the population of Minkes is depleted. Since there is very little protection for these mammals, we have to do all we can to help them!

In order to save these hunted and unprotected whales, we need to implement an import ban (preferably a total European import ban) on all Minke Whale products. This can effecitvely be done as was recently illustrated by the EU's acceptance on a total import ban for all seal products. We owe these animals the same courtesy.

Please help us in our quest. It is important to create awareness around this issue and to inform global citizens of the plight of these majectic marine mammals.

The Minke Whales need worldwide support and protection. We cannot let them to be all disappear.

On behalf of all left Minke Whales,

Anjo Verburg
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