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Dolphin Species: Harbor porpoise
Phocoena phocoena

The harbor porpoise is a small, stocky animal.The dorsal side is brown or dark grey, converging to a lighter grey on the flanks. The triangular dorsal fin is located in the middle of the back (Minasian et al, 1984). The average length is 1.5 m. with a maximum size of about 2 m. Females are slightly larger than males. They weigh 45-65 kg, with a maximum of 90 kg (Evans, 1987; Peet et al., 1992).

The harbor porpoise is a coastal species, limited to the cold temperate and subarctic waters of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Eastern North Atlantic it ranges from the Kara Sea south to Senegal, Africa, including the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Western Mediterranean. There is an isolated population in the Black Sea. In the Western North Atlantic, this species ranges from southern Greenland to North Carolina, USA. and there is also a population around Iceland. In the Eastern Pacific, it ranges from Alaska (up to Point Barrow) south to California. In the Western Pacific, the species ranges from the Bering Sea to northern Japan (Klinowksa, 1991). There is no clear migration. Most of the travelling seems to be related to movement of food resources.

Population dynamics and life history
The maximum age for harbor porpoises is about 17 years. The mean age at sexual maturity for females is 3.1 to 3.4 years. Pregnancy lasts about 10.6 months, followed by 8 to 12 months of lactation (Palka et al, 1996).


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