Saturday, 2 November 2013

Porpoises On European Coasts Maintain Their Populations but Migrate Southwards

Oct. 30, 2013 — Seven oceanographic research vessels and three light aircraft from the SCANSII Project have recorded the abundance and distribution of small cetaceans in the waters of the European Atlantic shelf. Their results reveal that the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena, also known as the common porpoise) is the most abundant on these shores and the only species that has moved further southwards to live.

An international team of scientists has found the exact abundance of the main species of small cetaceans on the European Atlantic continental shelf.

The SCANSII Project, led by the University of St Andrews (Scotland) in collaboration with twelve institutions -- including the Spanish Cetacean Society -- and organisations from eight European countries, is the second installment of the initial project undertaken in 1994, and demonstrates the trend over the last ten years.

As José Antonio Vázquez from the Spanish Cetacean Society explains: "The main result is that the porpoise population has remained the same but there has been a trend to move from the north to areas further south."

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