Harbor porpoise are vastly reduced in numbers in the Baltic Sea due to the beleif of fishermen that they reduce vaslty the numbers of fish available. And they are right. Each porpoise consumes several pounds of fish a day. In the San Juans it is the salmon gillnetters that struggle with these animals. They blunder into the gillnet – for what reason it is not understood because they can “see” them – and tangle.
Distinguished by a small triangular dorsal fin in the middle of the back – at best – these beautiful animals reach five feet at best. Harbor porpoises are colored:
- Gray back – lighter sides and belly,
- Dark mouth-to-flipper stripe,
- Indistinct beak.
Usually solitary, at the end of summer they will congregate in larger groups of up to 25 individuals. They are seldom seen because of their quick rolls on the surface with little to no splashing. They are found in the north Pacific and Atlantic along the coast. Harbor porpoises can be distinguished from the coastal dolphins by their size.