Marine Mammal Science & Conservation

Harbour porpoise

Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

Group formation: Solitary – mother-calf pairs

Size: 1.4-1.9 m,  calf 67–85 cm

Weight: males 61 kg, females 76 kg, calf 6-10 kg

Age: 10 yrs

Gestation: 11 mths

Sexual maturity: females 3-4 yrs

Diet: small pelagic schooling fish such as herring, capelin, sprat.

Predators: Grey seals, Bottlenose dolphins, Killer whales

Distribution: North Atlantic, North Pacific and the Black Sea, with several subspecies, they prefer temperate and subarctic waters, live in fjords, bays, estuaries and harbors.

Norway: all along the Norwegian coast inside fjords, local populations, in the Vestfjord many individuals are seen throughout the year in the same area.

Population: > 100 000

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

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