Pacific White-sided Dolphin

NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NOAA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Very active and social dolphin found in the cool or temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific white-sided dolphin has three colors. The chin, throat and belly are creamy white. The beak, flippers, back, and dorsal fin are a dark gray. Light gray patches are seen on the sides and a further light gray stripe runs from above the eye to below the dorsal fin, where it thickens along the tail stock. A dark gray ring surrounds the eyes.

  • Length; 2.5metres, 
  • Weight; 200 kg, females slightly smaller. 
  • Life span; 40 years. 
  • Gestation; 1 year


The Pacific white-sided dolphin is extremely active and mixes with many of the other North Pacific cetacean species. Large groups are common, averaging 90 individuals, with supergroups of more than 300. 

Prey includes mainly hake, anchovies, squid, herring, salmon, and cod.

Found up and down the coast in a variety of habitats. Can be found well off the coast of near the coast. They tend to like deeper, offshore waters, but also readily found in coastal inlets along the BC coastline. 

They eat lots of different species of fish, including herring, salmon, pollock, 

shrimp etc. and squid. An average sized dolphin consumes approx. 16-20% 

of their body mass in food (12.5-15.8 kg) in fish per day.

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