Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are one of the most frequently sighted cetaceans in the Salish Sea. Anecdotal information, possibly supported with stranding encounter rate data, suggests that harbor porpoise may have increased in Puget Sound, or have shifted their distribution back to Puget Sound relative to earlier decades.
On February 7, 2013, Pacific Biodiversity Institute, Cascadia Research Collective and the SeaDoc Society hosted scientists from Washington and British Columbia to determine the state of knowledge on this species and coordinate ongoing research efforts.
The group discussed what was currently known about harbor porpoise habitat needs, distribution, population trends, life cycle, genetics, behavior and role in the ecosystem. The workshop goals were to foster communication, identify the data that could be used to prepare manuscripts, determine the research that would most enhance our understanding of the harbor porpoise, seek opportunities for collaboration, and prioritize critical harbor porpoise conservation issues that need to be addressed.