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Spate of porpoise deaths in Germany

Spate of porpoise deaths in Germany

While it was the strandings of their much larger relative, the sperm whale, that gained media attention in Germany recently, there have also been several harbour porpoises suffering a similar fate in recent months. In February, an 18 month old male was found on the Baltic coast at Eckernf√∂rder. Porpoises in the Baltic are critically endangered…

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PCB pollution is still killing European porpoises despite ban

Reproductive dysfunction (including a longer calving interval, lower pregnancy rate and later maturation and higher rates of reproductive abnormalities) in UK harbour porpoises may be related to Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) exposure, according to a new report. So man-made chemicals that have been heavily restricted in Europe for 30 years are still having terrible impacts on harbour…

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UK reports latest porpoise bycatch figures to Europe

The latest report calculated that the best estimate is that between 1400 and 1700 porpoises were bycaught in UK fishing nets in 2014 [Northridge et al. 2015]. Previous analyses have suggested that porpoise bycatch rates may have increased slightly since 2010. There is not enough data to break this UK wider figure down into more…

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White harbour porpoise sighting in Baltic Sea

WDC has received footage of a white harbour porpoise, sighting in the Baltic Sea, close to the Great Belt in Denmark. White individuals are very rare among whales and dolphins, only 15 white harbour porpoise sightings have been reported in the past 100 years. Usually the harbour porpoise has a robust dark body, with a…

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Better protection for UK porpoises on the horizon?

We are one giant step closer to better protection of porpoises through the designation of UK harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), a special type of marine protected area required under European law. The UK government nature conservation advisor, JNCC, has released a very important report that provides the scientific evidence to demonstrate which…

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Potential breeding ground identified for the Baltic Sea harbour porpoise

After two years of data collection and two years of statistical analyses, the EU Life+-funded project SAMBAH (Static Acoustic Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise) has estimated the critically endangered Baltic Sea harbour porpoise population to approximately 450 animals. The data – harbour porpoise echolocation signals recorded through acoustic data loggers called C-PODs –…

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