harbour porpoise

“Strait of Georgia Kaleidoscope”

Vancouver sits on the shores of a miraculous body of water known as the Strait of Georgia. The wealth of diversity in the Strait may come as a surprise to some, but contained within are over 230 fish species, the world’s largest octopus species, and the world’s densest population of harbour seals, just to name a few of its wonders. A trip across the Georgia Strait on a BC Ferry might reveal the presence of killer, humpback, grey, or minke whales, harbour or Dall’s porpoise, or even pacific white-sided dolphins. But to really grasp the beauty of the strait, one must dive below the waves. 


Found some images I took of Harbour Porpoises at the Vancouver Aquarium floating listlessly.

Their names, I believe, are Daisy, who was rescued and deemed unreleasable and then transferred to VanAqua, and Jack, who was also rescued, but still resides there. They are supposedly the only Harbour Porpoises in permanent human care.

But. boy, is it depressing to have watched them. Their entire tank was just.. this. At first when I came around, there was a trainer there giving them food. But after the trainers left, they both just resorted to floating lifelessly. And they kind of just floated under the shadow by what looks like a wired gate/view. I stayed there for about 15 minutes feeling so awful for them.

You’d think if these animals were deemed unreleasable that their environment would be a little enriching. There wasn’t a toy or anything in sight.

As the dolphin becomes just another victim of humanity’s utilitarian attitudes towards the Earth, it seems as though the ancient friendship between our respective species is no longer entirely reciprocal. Such exploitation is nowhere more evident than in the capture and display of cetaceans for profit. Stripped of their natural identity, deprived of their own culture and environment, the dolphin and whale incarcerated within the oceanarium not only symbolizes an abuse of that ancient relationship, but above all our estrangement from nature as a whole.
—  Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan

Cardigan Bay Bottlenose Dolphin attacks on Harbour Porpoise

Over this summer, there have been numerous sighting of bottlenose dolphins attacking harbour porpoise. These incredible photos show the latest attack, taken on September 10th 2014.
The attacks tend to involve a lot of ramming and throwing the much smaller porpoise into the air, leading to death by internal trauma in most cases.
The dolphins don’t eat the porpoise, and neither species compete for food. The same individuals have been identified in attacks.
My personal speculation is that it’s a highly exciting and stimulating activity, leading them to repeat the behaviour when possible, i.e. they do it for fun.

It’s very interesting, and I think these photos are just amazing to show the power of the dolphins, and the size difference between an adult bottlenose dolphin and adult harbour porpoise. The little porpoise doesn’t stand a chance!

All photos credited to the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, based in New Quay Wales.


Frigg-Amanda, the first porpoise calf successfully born and raised under human care, died on April 20 after weeks of illness. Autopsy results suggest the cause of death was blood infection and pneumonia.

Frigg was born on August 8 2007 and would have celebrated her 6th birthday this summer.

This summer a new baby porpoise is expected to be born at Fjord & Bælt, this time the mother is Sif. 

Frigg was a wonderful porpoise, I had the amazing opportunity of spending some time in the water with her on her 3rd birthday and it was the most amazing experience of my entire life.

She will be dearly missed by many. Rest In Peace, Frigg-Amanda ♥