Harbor porpoise

Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are the smallest of 22 cetaceans recorded in the Salish Sea and are probably one of the few that are resident year-­‐round. Excluding the Arctic, their distribution extends throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Their numbers in the waters of Puget Sound declined steeply in the 1970s, but their population has increased in recent years. 

Source: Zier, J.C. and Gaydos, J.K. (2015). Harbor Porpoise in the Salish Sea A Species Profile for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. 32 pgs.

Harbor porpoise surfacing. Photo: Erin D'Agnese, WDFW

OVERVIEW

Harbor porpoise in the Salish Sea

In the 1940s, harbor porpoise were among the most frequently sighted cetaceans in Puget Sound, but by the early 1970s they had all but disappeared from local waters. Their numbers have since increased, but they remain a Species of Concern in the state of Washington. This in-depth profile looks at harbor porpoise in the Salish Sea, and was prepared by the SeaDoc Society for inclusion in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. 

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Harbor porpoise. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
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HARBOR PORPOISE (Phocoena phocoena vomerina): Washington Inland Waters Stock (NOAA Fisheries 2011)