Management Plans

Management Plan for the Pacific Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena) in Canada

Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are a small marine mammal reaching a length of about 2.2 m and weight of about 75 kg when fully grown, making them the smallest cetacean in Canadian waters. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with females of this species generally being larger than males. Harbour porpoise are often difficult to observe in the wild, in part due to the grey-brown counter-colouration on the dorsal surface with lighter lateral undersides. A distinctive lateral grey-brown stripe(s) extending from the corner of the mouth, to the pectoral flipper on both sides of the animal can sometimes be observed. This is a shy species that seldom rides bow waves of vessels and rarely, if ever leaps out of water. Further complicating the observation of wild harbour porpoise is that the 15-20 cm high dorsal fin rarely makes an exit or entry splash.

Consultation period: 2009-08-25 to 2009-10-24


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Contact Person(s)

SARA Directorate
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
200 Kent St.
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0E6
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Related Species


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