Animals (2023)

DOI: 10.3390/ani13243868


The Shandong Peninsula is located on the western coast of the Pacific and is adjacent to the Bohai Sea (BS) and the Yellow Sea (YS) to the east. The East Asian finless porpoise Neophocaena asiaeorientalis sunameri, a subspecies of the narrow-ridged finless porpoise N. asiaeorientalis, is the dominant cetacean resident along the Shandong Peninsula. However, there is insufficient monitoring data to determine the status of the cetacean species in this region. Based on the publicly available literature, media, and internet social website, this study investigated the spatial–temporal distribution of porpoise stranding and bycatch along the coast of the Shandong Peninsula. Data on over five hundred porpoises from two hundred reports between 2000 and 2018 were compiled and analyzed. Results showed that the bycatch and stranding of porpoises occurred widely across the peninsula throughout all months and increased rapidly between 2010 and 2017. The incidents were more frequent in the area where the BS and YS converged during the spring and early summer than in other seasons. The mean body length of bycaught porpoises was smaller than that of those found stranded. Fishing activities could be the principal cause of local finless porpoise incidents. However, limited data hindered a quantitative evaluation of the living conditions of finless porpoises in this area. Establishing a comprehensive monitoring system, which includes standardized reporting, rescue operations, and scientific research, is essential to finless porpoise protection along the Shandong Peninsula.