Phocoena phocoena

From the early days of the Agreement, one population caused scientists, conservationists and governments special concern: the Baltic Harbour Porpoise.

The preamble to the Agreement text negotiated in the early 1990s already makes it clear: “Aware that the population of harbour porpoises of the Baltic Sea has drastically decreased,” and “Concerned about the status of small cetaceans in the Baltic and North Seas”. We have thus known for a long time that harbour porpoises in the Baltic Sea are in trouble. Twenty-five years later the problem is not solved yet. But we have come a long way. And the porpoises are still around!

27 Jan 2017

The ASCOBANS Outreach and Education Award was presented to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), and accepted on behalf of the organization by its Chief Executive, Chris Butler-Stroud. CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers presented the award.

30 Aug 2016

From 30 August to 1 September 2016, the 8th Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement for the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS) will take place in Helsinki, Finland. At the meeting, Parties will review the implementation of the Agreement over the past four years, and agree upon priority conservation measures for the period 2017-2020.

26 Aug 2016

The ocean harbours immense potential as a source of renewable energy, but accessing that energy can be damaging to marine species and their habitats.

16 Aug 2016

Underwater noise generated by human activity affects a wide variety of species, from crustaceans to cetaceans. At the upcoming 8th Meeting of the Parties to

02 Aug 2016

Contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) endangers the health and survival of many cetacean populations.

26 Jul 2016

Four representatives from the CMS Secretariat’s Terrestrial Species Unit visited the Bonn International School to give a presentation about CMS and what they do to conserve migrating animals.

22 Jun 2016

28 October 2015 - Seals in the Wadden Sea area of the North Sea were once in danger of dying out. Now they are thriving.

28 Oct 2015

Umweltverbände werben für besseren Schutz des Ostseeschweinswals

Stralsund – Ab dem 15. Januar zeigen NABU, WDC, OceanCare und das Kleinwalschutzabkommen ASCOBANS die künstlerischen Beiträge zum Kreativwettbewerb „Die letzten 300“ im Deutschen Meeresmuseum Stralsund. Mit der Ausstellung machen die Organisatoren auf die kritische Lage des Ostseeschweinswals aufmerksam. Nur noch wenige Hundert Tiere des einzigen in Deutschland heimischen Wals leben in der zentralen Ostsee. Bundesumweltministerin Barbara Hendricks ist Schirmherrin der Ausstellung.

14 Jan 2015

As part of a collaboration with nature protection organizations Whale and Dolphin Conservation, NABU and OceanCare, ASCOBANS is co-organizing an exhibition on the Baltic harbour porpoise in the German Oceanographic Museum in Stralsund, Germany.

12 Jan 2015

Kolmården/Bonn – For many years, lack of data on the distribution and abundance of the unique harbour porpoise population in the Baltic Sea has been one of the key obstacles to taking targeted action for their protection. Now, thanks to the EU Life+-funded SAMBAH (Static Acoustic Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Harbour Porpoise) project, for the first time these key questions have received reliable answers.

15 Dec 2014
Assessment information
CMS InstrumentsCMS, ASCOBANS, ACCOBAMS, Western African Aquatic Mammals
IUCN StatusCritically endangered
Date of entry in Appendix II1988
Geographic range
Countries Gambia, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal

No pictures for Phocoena phocoena

Common names
EnglishCommon Porpoise, Harbour Porpoise
FrenchMarsouin Commun
SpanishMarsopa común
GermanSchweinswal
Taxonomy
ClassMammalia
OrderCetacea
FamilyPhocoenidae
Scientific name Phocoena phocoena

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Additional notesRange State list incomplete!

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