Report of the International Whaling Commission (1995)


Parasite and pollutant loads, reproductive status and overall condition were recorded for seven harbour porpoise shot at the Faroes in 1987-1988. Four species of nematodes were found. A mixed infection of the lungworms Pseudolius inflexus with Halocerus invaginatus in two porpoises has not been reported from other areas. The lung worm Torynumus convolutus was not found in the Faroes porpoises. One species of liver fluke was found. Cd levels were high compared to those found in harbour porpoises from other North Atlantic areas, except for one from the Shetland Islands. This may be due to the vicinity of the North Atlantic ridge system. Generally, total DOT and PCB levels were between levels in porpoises taken in Denmark and in Greenland. p,p’-DDE had the highest contribution to total DOT, which corresponds to the fact that it is more persistent than p,p’-DDD and p,p’- DDT. Females can become mature from three years of age. The overall condition of the porpoises does not seem to have been affected by their parasite loads.