American Oceans

What Do Beluga Whales Eat?

Are you curious about what beluga whales eat? These fascinating creatures, also known as white whales, are found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of the world.

a beluga whale swimming underwater

Belugas are known for their distinctive white color and their vocalizations, which have earned them the nickname “canaries of the sea.”

Beluga whales are carnivores, and their diet consists of a variety of marine animals. They feed on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, as well as worms and other bottom-dwelling creatures.

Belugas are also known to eat squid, octopuses, and even small mammals such as Arctic char and salmon.

Their diet varies depending on the season and their location, but they are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever is available to them.

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Beluga Whale Diet

Beluga whales are carnivores and have a varied diet that consists of different types of prey.

a pod of beluga whales


Beluga whales feed on a wide variety of prey, including fish, squid, shrimp, octopus, snails, sandworms, and crustaceans.

They are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat what is available in their environment.

Their diet varies depending on the season, location, and availability of prey.


Beluga whales consume a large amount of fish, including cod, herring, smelt, flatfish, and Arctic cod.

They are known to eat up to 3% of their body weight in food per day, which can range from 40 to 100 pounds depending on the size of the whale.

In summer, they primarily feed on Arctic cod, capelin, and other small fish. During winter, they consume eels, flounder, and herring.


Beluga whales use a variety of hunting techniques to catch their prey.

They are known to use echolocation to locate their food, which involves emitting high-frequency sounds and listening for the echoes that bounce back.

They can also use their sense of smell to locate prey. Once they have located their food, they will use their teeth to catch and swallow it.

Beluga whales are known to work together to hunt for food. They will sometimes use a technique called bubble netting, where they blow bubbles in a circle around a school of fish to trap them in a confined area.

This makes it easier for the whales to catch their prey.

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