Harbour porpoise

HELCOM countries agreed in 2007 to further develop in co-operation with the 1991 Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS) a co-ordinated reporting system and database on Baltic harbour porpoise sightings, by-catches and strandings. Data was collected originally in 2004 within the Baltic Sea Porpoise and Jastarnia projects. The original database was funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany and the data was updated in HELCOM Secretariat in 2010 with financial support from UNEP/ASCOBANS.

Download HELCOM/ASCOBANS harbour porpoise database (1 Mb Zipped access mdb)

Currently the database will be updated as new information comes available. Latest updates (2016 data for incidental sightings) to the database were included in February 2018.

The HELCOM Contracting Parties are asked to use this reporting form when reporting harbour porpoise data to HELCOM Secretariat.

HELCOM SEAL 11-2017 meeting agreed on this data form for acoustic monitoring meta-data, which can be used for reporting acoustic data.

The HELCOM Map and Data Service displays the reported data on harbour porpoise inside the HELCOM marine area.

Note: the numbers on by-catch represent a minimum of by-catches due to their common underreporting.

The following institutions have contributed data to the database:

Danish Forest and Nature Agency
Fishery and Maritime Museum

Ministry of the Environment

Ministry of the Environment


Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research (ITAW), University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation: http://www.tiho-hannover.de/ 

The German Oceanic Museum Stralsund
The Gesellschaft zum Schutz der Meeressäugetiere

Ministry of Environment
Nature Conservation Agency


Lithuanian Sea Museum

Hel Marine Station, University of Gdansk


Saint-Petersburg State University

Museum of Natural History
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

The ESAS database