Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

Atlantic white beaked dolphin

Atlantic white beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)

Group formation: Social groups/fission fusion (size 5-50)

Size: males 3 m,  females 2.3 m,  calf 1 m

Weight: 180-350 kg,  calf 40 kg

Age: unknown

Gestation: 11 mths

Sexual maturity: 7-12 yrs

Diet: fish, such as herring, mackerel, squid

Distribution: endemic to North Atlantic Ocean, cold temperate to subpolar waters from northern coast of France in the east, north to southern Greenland, Iceland, and Svalbard.

Norway: offshore along the Norwegian coast, Barents Sea, does not overlap with Atlantic white sided dolphins, not often seen inside the Vestfjord (we have seen it only once in 10 years!).

Population: > 100 000

Conservation Status: Least Concern ver 3.1, Pop. trend: unknown

Threats: whaling (Faeroe Islands, eastern Canada, Greenland), plastic pollution, man-made noise impacts (seismic surveys, military sonar), entanglement in fishing gear, over fishing.