The odd name “Minke Whale” comes from the Norwegian word for the whale, “minkehval”. It is believed that the name originally came from a whaler named Meincke, who incorrectly identified a group of whales as BlueWhales, when they were actually Minkes.
Minkes have been historically hunted by whalers, though theywere long avoided due to their small size making them less appealing. However, after populations of larger whales were heavily reduced thanks to overhunting, the Minke became a more desirable target of hunters.
A global moratorium on whaling in 1986 helped prevent further overhunting of Minke Whales, although Norway, Iceland and Japan have continued to hunt Minkes in the years since.