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Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocena

Harbour Porpoise Behaviour

Harbour Porpoise Breeding Biology

Female harbour porpoises give birth between May and July in California (Wilson and Ruff 1999) and May and September in British Columbia (Baird 2003). It is sexually mature at 2-5 years of age and lives for about 13 years.  Mating in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine occurs in July and August and birthing peaks the following May. Neonates are 80-86 centimetres long. Lactation can last for about nine months and young porpoises are weaned beginning at about 4 months of age. There is some sexual dimorphism with females being 10-20 percent larger than males. Males in California are 1.3-1.49 m and females are 1.42-1.52 m long.

Total weight is 45-90 kilograms.

Harbour Porpoise Feeding Behaviour 

Not much is known about how the harbour porpoise obtains its food. Stomach contents reveal small fish including mackerel, herring, capelin, alewife, bottom fish and squid. Maximum dives are 98.6 meters with more than 70% of diving time spent at 20 m or less (Otani et al. 1998).



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