Dead porpoise outside Blekinge was pregnant

20 October, 2022

A dead porpoise was found in the Blekinge archipelago in August. When the unusual find is now examined, it turns out that the cause of death is still unclear – and that it was a pregnant female, reports Blekinge county newspaper.

– She was pregnant with an almost full-term fetus, which is very exciting and interesting because we know so little about reproduction in porpoises, says Elina Thorsson, game veterinarian at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, to the newspaper.

The condition of the deceased animal was poor as it had been in water for a long time, which contributed to the fact that the cause of death is difficult to determine.

There are only about 500 of the critically endangered Baltic right whale, one of the world’s smallest whales. The porpoises around Sweden are divided into three distinct populations. The Baltic Sea population is genetically distinct from the porpoises that live in the North Sea. The stock in the Baltic Sea is classified as acutely threatened.

One of the main threats is fishing, where porpoises get caught as bycatch in nets. Other threats are underwater noise, environmental toxins, changes in the ecosystem and reduced prey availability.

Text: Anna Karolina Eriksson/TT
Photo: Paula Olson/AP Archive image

Related articles

Professional fishermen can now apply for funding to buy so-called pingers for fishing nets to scare away porpoises that risk getting caught in the nets by mistake. There are only about 500 specimens of the critically endangered Baltic tumbler, which is one of the world’s smallest whales…
Text: Erik Paulsson Rönnbäck/TT
Photo: Håkan Aronsson/TT
For thousands of years there have been porpoises in the Baltic Sea – a shy dolphin-like whale. But due to environmental toxins and fishing, their numbers have declined sharply since the mid-20th century. The harbour porpoise population in the Baltic Sea is currently classified as critically endangered. The question is, is it too late to save the porpoise?…
Reportage: Martin Widman and Björn Hagberg
Header image: Martin Almqvist
Porpoise video: Jens Peder Jeppesen, Öresundsarkivet
Header image: Martin Almqvist
The Swedish Museum of Natural History has released a new report showing that the porpoise population in the Baltic Sea may be recovering. The porpoise, the Baltic Sea’s only whale, is critically endangered and today only 500 individuals remain…
Source: Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Photo: Martin Almqvist / TT Bild
Scroll to Top