Save the harbour porpoise – the only whale in the Baltic Sea
The harbour porpoise is a small whale which actually lives in the Baltic Sea, but it is critically endangered. There are only approximately 500 animals left today, and now management measures are needed to save them.
Harbour porpoises are threatened by fisheries, since they can get caught and drown in fishing nets. This is one of the primary reasons there are so few porpoises left in the Baltic Sea today. Harbour porpoises are also exposed to underwater noise from heavy shipping traffic and fast leisure boats. For the Baltic Sea harbour porpoises to recover, we need more areas were these activities are restricted.
For many years, protected areas for harbour porpoises have been discussed, and in December 2016 a large protected area for porpoises was designated in Swedish waters south of Gotland. With an effective management this area could be instrumental for the recovery of the Baltic Sea harbour porpoise. Sweden now has a unique chance to contribute to the conservation of harbour porpoises in the Baltic Sea and to be the first nation with a protected area this big and with relevant management measures.
We hope that all Swedish parties, authorities and other stakeholders can agree to build on this new protected area and cooperate to take effective management measures to save the Baltic Sea harbour porpoise.