Living with a porpoise

Erik Christensen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you come to Campbell River and go on a Whale Watching Tour, chances are that you might see porpoises so better to start now learning about the different kinds:


Porpoise – general

Porpoises eat squid and small fish and consume up to 10% of their body weight each day to support their metabolic requirements. 

Killer whales (Bigg’s) and sharks are their primary predators. Adaptation to avoid killer whale predation, the Killer Whales can pick up to about 100Khz, Porpoises have adapted to find food and stay out of the hearing capabilities from the Killer Whales, by producing a higher click sound 130-140Khz.

The porpoises travel in small groups (2-5 individuals) or alone.

Reports of harbour porpoise stranding are more common than those of any other cetacean species found in BC waters.


Harbour Porpoise 

Easy to recognize by there he triangular dorsal, all black/grey.  This form of countershading helps them blend in with their environment. A more white/light grey belly makes them blend in more with the sky when looking from below. 

  • Length; 1.2metres, 
  • Weight; 50-60 kg, females slightly larger. 
  • Life span; 8-10 years. 
  • Sexually mature at 3-4 years, 
  • Gestation; 10.5 months


The calves are born during summer and the females get one calf per year.. Harbour porpoises generally stay within 10 to 15 km of land, and frequent shallow inshore waters such as estuaries, and river mouths. 


Hybrid Porpoise 

Occasionally found in BC waters. These hybrids usually have the body shape and behaviors of a dall’s porpoise, but the colouring of a harbour porpoise.






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Whale Watching in Campbell River

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