Cetaceans: Species at risk

All species of cetaceans are included in protection lists such as the Habitat Directive, Bonn Convention, Bern Convention and Barcelona Convention. In spite of that, these species continue to be endangered, and they require action to be taken in order to protect them.

Oceana considers  that the declaration of  marine protected areas as set forth in the Habitat Directive can be a very useful tool to protect these species, but in addition, the limitation of the use of sonar or eliminating destructive fishing gear.

Bottlenose dolphin

It is wide-distributed   throughout the world and even reaches Arctic waters. However, there are no global figures for this species. Off the Atlantic coast of Europe, it is calculated that there are some 12,600 species, and Galicia and Portugal are one of the areas with the highest concentrations. Its sociability allows it to interact with human beings on occasion. This increases the risk of becoming trapped in fishing nets or being run over by all types of vessels.

Harbor porpoise

Its distribution is centered on the Western European coasts between Galicia and Portugal. It frequents shallow waters. Its population in European Atlantic waters is estimated at 385,000 individuals, though 90% is found in the North Sea. The small populations outside this area are critically endangered.