harbor porpoise


Acoustic Click Train


Aileen with Daisy - the orphan harbor porpoise


Trail to Burrows Pass


Harbor Porpoise Project


The Harbor Porpoise Project's research has changed a species that was “too difficult to monitor” to a species that is now recognized as a sentinel for the health of the Salish Sea. The project identified, tested and demonstrated passive acoustic monitors to show they were effective in detecting harbor porpoises. A strong citizen science program trained volunteers to work with scientists to collect observation data, and six underwater monitors were used to collect acoustic data continuously.

The data from these two independent metrics demonstrated seasonal movement and distribution in the presence of this species. Data is now being analyzed to show the effects of noise on harbor porpoise behavior.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife had listed the harbor porpoise as a Candidate Species of Concern but did not have 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. Our 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:

hree harbor porpoises in Burrows Pass

Photo credits: Florian Graner, Aileen Jeffries, Peter Morrison, Vancouver Aquarium, Steven Gnam

Copyright © Harbor Porpoise Project and Biota Maxima

Contact us at info@harborporpoiseproject.org