Report of the International Whaling Commission (1995)


The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History maintains a centralized database on marine mammal strandings that occur along the eastern United States coastline. Data from this stranding database plus additional stranding data located from the state of Massachusetts are examined for information on harbor porpoises in the northwestern Atlantic. The data indicate that the winter distribution of harbor porpoises extends further south than previously reported and supports published studies which describe a seasonal north/south migration. Analyses of mature females indicates a high pregnancy rate and incidental kill records raise questions about the geographic extent of potential fishery interactions beyond those previously documented for bottom tending gillnet fisheries in the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy.