HELCOM announced today the launch of an online harbour porpoise map service. It is part of the new integrated map and data service which allows users to access and visualize a wide range of data on activities and pollution loads affecting the Baltic marine environment. It can be accessed at http://maps.helcom.fi/website/HarbourPorpoise/index.html.
The harbour porpoise map service was developed in co-operation and with funding from ASCOBANS. Institutions from all the Baltic Sea countries have contributed data to the database, which will be updated as new information becomes available.
The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is the only cetacean species inhabiting the Baltic Sea. The population inhabiting the Baltic Proper has been classified as 'critically endangered' by IUCN, justified by the consideration that the current population size is fewer than 250 mature individuals and continues to decline. Although neither the original population size nor the carrying capacity of the Baltic Proper has been quantified, it appears likely that the population size decreased considerably in the 20th century owing to anthropogenic impacts.
The full press release can be accessed here
Last updated on 25 March 2014