Background

One of the smallest marine mammals that can be found world wide, the harbour porpoise is a highly efficient predator. They occasionally feed in groups, however are more commonly found feeding alone. Dives from this species can last upto 5 minutes, but generally last for just over a minute.

Habitat

This species is found throughout the world’s oceans primarily within coastal areas.

Diet

An intelligent hunter these predators are able to adapt their hunting techniques dependent on whether they are feeding alone or in groups. They feed on shoals of fish, squid and crustaceans.

Predators & Threats

The usual suspects of predators appear within this list. Sharks and killer whales are the two animals that prey on harbour porpoises. However, quite unexpectedly, grey seals are known to attack this species and eat their fat due to it’s high energy content. This does not usually cause fatalities. Pods of bottlenose dolphins have been observed killing these porpoises, but they do not eat their remains.

Facts

  • During mating season the males’ testes increase to approximately 5% of their total body weight.
  • There are 4 known subspecies of harbour porpoise distributed around the world.
Common Name(s)Scientific Name
Harbour porpoisePhocoena phocoena 
Size
 Upto 2m
Lifespan
 12 years

Best Time to Look

All year round.

Where to find Harbour Porpoise