Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Harbor Porpoise

Phocoena phocoena


Fun Facts

    The harbor porpoise is one of six species of porpoise

    It is one of the smallest marine mammals




The harbor porpoise is a type of marine mammal that lives in coastal waters.  Harbor porpoise occur in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Black Sea in temperate and subarctic waters. The robust upper body is a dark grey with slightly speckled, lighter grey sides. The underside is much whiter, with grey stripes running along the throat from the underside of the body. Adults of both sexes grow to 4 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters).

Harbor porpoise feed on fishes such as herring, cod, whiting, squid, pollock, and sardines. They reach sexual maturity at approximately 3 to 4 years. Calves are 27 to 35 inches at birth (70 to 90 cm). The gestation period is about 11 months, and the calving interval is usually every 2 years. Calves nurse for up to 8 months.

To learn more about harbor porpoise and their relatives visit the Whales & Dolphins Room at the Aquarium.