Marine Mammals in Belgium: Report of 2014




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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 five species of marine mammals are considered as native: porpoises, white-beaked dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common seals and grey seals. The most common marine mammal is the porpoise. In April 2014 our researchers measured  the highest average density ever: 4 animals per km² or over 10.000 porpoises in Belgian waters.

129 porpoises stranded during the year 2014. A third of the animals of which we could identify the cause of death, died due to bycatch, a third died as a result of predation by grey seals.

In 2014 we also observed other marine mammals: pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins and white-beaked dolphins.

Every year seals seem to become more common, which is probablyrelated to the growing colonies in neighbouring countries. 30 dead or dying seals have been registered in 2014, the highest number ever.

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