Harbor Porpoise Project

Pacific Biodiversity Institute’s Harbor Porpoise project has changed a species that was
“too difficult to monitor” to a species that is now recognized as a sentinel for the Salish Sea. We have a strong citizen science program that trains volunteers to work with scientists to collect observation data, and we have six underwater monitors deployed now that collect acoustic data continuously.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has listed the harbor porpoise as a Candidate Species of Concern but has not had the funding for a status review. Canada has listed them as a Species of Special Concern because of their sensitivity to human activities. Now, the Puget Sound Partnership is considering the harbor porpoise as one of the indicator species for their clean-up effort. PBI’s work will assist these agencies to better manage marine resources through the information we have recorded and methods we have developed, described in the links below:

three harbor porpoises in Burrows Pass

Photo credits: Florian Graner, Vancouver Aquarium, Steven Gnam

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