Porpoises: Dispersion and diet

The amount of porpoises, how they are spread and how this is related to feeding ecology, will be discussed within this project.


Porpoises are protected. The Dutch government must give substance to this protection duty. The Porpoise Protection Plan from 2011 shows knowledge gaps. The aim of this project is to provide the missing knowledge:

  • How many porpoises are there in our waters and what is the seasonal variation in their numbers? 
  • How is the distribution of porpoises and what is the seasonal variation? 
  • Are we feeding ecology of the harbor porpoise related to changes in distribution and numbers?

In this project for the first time telemetry study on porpoises in the North Sea is used. The possibilities and problems of this method are examined.

The project has yielded the following results:

  •  Mortality of porpoises are casualty-catch of fishing, starvation, infections.
  • The population has grown to a size of about 80,000 animals.
  • Tele Metric research is difficult to implement for porpoises.