Video: John Calambokidis on Harbor Porpoise and other cetaceans in the Salish Sea

Although the harbor porpoise is the most abundant and widely dispersed cetacean species in the Salish Sea, its probably one of the least well known. Believe it or not, we still know very little about their habitat preferences in the Salish Sea, if the population is increasing, decreasing or stable, how they are related to harbor porpoise outside of the Salish Sea, and even when and where they have their young.

We do know that Harbor porpoise are among the smallest of the cetaceans, reaching an average size of about 5 feet and 120 pounds. They can dive deep, more than 655 feet, but usually stay near the surface, coming up regularly to breathe with a distinctive puffing noise that resembles a sneeze.

On January 14th, 2014, John Calambokidis, a Senior Research Biologist at Cascadia Research Collective, shed new light on harbor porpoise in the Salish Sea. Calambokidis is a well-respected marine mammal biologist and has authored two books on marine mammals as well as more than 150 scientific publications. His work has been covered by the Discovery Channel and National Geographic TV specials.

The 2013-14 Marine Science Lecture Series is designed to inspire the general public and to highlight the amazing fish and wildlife of our region. Lectures are free.

The Lecture Series is presented by program partners The SeaDoc Society and YMCA Camp Orkila. It has been made possible through generous sponsorship by Tom Averna (Deer Harbor Charters), Barbara Brown, Audrey and Dean Stupke and West Sound Marina. Co- sponsors Barbara Bentley and Glenn Prestwich, Emmanuel Episcopal and Bill Patterson (Chimayo/Sazio).