Marine Mammal Sci (1992)

DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.1992.tb00373.x


Dall’s porpoises from the Sea of Japan population taken by a dolphin fishery vessel were examined. Estimated body lengths at sexual maturity were similar to those for the truei-type population off the Pacific coast of Japan but larger than those for the offshore dalli-type in the North Pacific. The Sea of Japan population is known to migrate to the Pacific coast of Japan through Tsugaru Strait and to the Sea of Okhotsk through Soya Strait in summer. From the difference of catch composition, individuals of different reproductive status in this population are considered to have different patterns of summer migration. Most of the individuals which migrate into the Pacific Ocean through Tsugaru Strait are sexually immature, while those migrating into the Sea of Okhotsk are mature. The Sea of Okhotsk is thought to be a breeding area for this population. The calving season is estimated to be May through June, which is earlier than that of the truei-type off the Pacific coast of northern Japan. This may be an adaptation to lower water temperatures in the Sea of Japan during winter.