Harbour porpoise

Harbour porpoise

Harbour porpoise (Latin name; Phocoena phocoena)

Distribution map

The blue area shows where harbour porpoise can be found.


Species Identification


Length: 0.67-0.90m/203-3.0ft (newborn); 1.35-1.80/4.5-5.9ft (adult)

Head and Beak: The harbour porpoise has short blunt head with no forehead or beak.

Fin and Markings: Small central triangular fin; dark grey back, with paler patch on flanks.

ID: Harbour porpoises rarely leap clear of the water; normal view is a glimpse of back and small fin.

Status and Distribution: Harbour porpoises are common and widely distributed in Northern Europe from Iceland and northern Norway south to Southern Ireland and Southwest England. Rare in the Baltic Sea, the southernmost Norh Sea, Channel, Bay of Biscay, Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean. In main parts of their present range, recorded in all months of the year but, in coastal UK waters, peak numbers March to April and July to November.


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