Marine Mammals in Belgium: Report of 2014

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Porpoise
19/02/2016
Marine Mammals in Belgium: Report of 2014
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The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences coordinates the research of marine mammals. The report of 2014 has just been released and the 2015 report will follow soon.

In Belgium only 5 species of marine mammals are considered as native: porpoise, white beaked dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, common seal and grey seal. The most common marine mammal is the porpoise. In April 2014 our researchers estimated the highest average density ever: 4 animals per km² or over 10.000 porpoises in Belgian waters.

129 porpoises stranded during the year 2014. One third of the animals of whom we could identify the cause of death, died due to bycatch, one third died due to predation by grey seals.

In 2014 we also observed other marine mammals: pilot whale, bottlenose dolphin and white beaked dolphin.

Every year, seals seem to become more common, probably due to increasing colonies in neighbouring countries. 30 dead or dying seals have been registered in 2014, the highest number ever.

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