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Dead porpoise - findings or bycatch

Here you can find information regarding what to do if you find a dead porpoise or unintentionally catch one in your fishing gear.

Compensation for the finding

The number of Baltic harbour porpoises is low and therefore they are particularily interesting for research. Because of this, the Swedish Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Swedish Veterinary Agency collects bycaught and found dead porpoises from this area. Dead porpoises from the west coast may also be collected, approximately 20 individuals per year.

Please observe that compensation will only apply to collected or sampled animals that have been approved by the Swedish Museum of Natural History (if bycaught) and/or the Swedish Veterinary Institute (if found dead).

Contact us for assessment

If you have found a dead or bycaught porpoise, contact us as soon as possible. We would like to recieve as much information of your findings as ossible in order to assess if the porpoise can be collected for necropsy and sampling. We gratefully accept photos of the porpoise to make the assessment easier.

You will find our contact information further down on this page.

Details of the finding or bycatch

We will require the following details about the found dead or bycaught harbour porpoise:

  • Finding location
  • Date of finding
  • Body length
  • If possible, approximate weight
  • Coordinates (lat/long)
  • If bycaught, the depth of the fishing gear (voluntary information)
  • If bycaught, the type of fishing gear (voluntary information)

Contact information

Swedish police

Phone: 114 14

The Swedish Museum of Natural History

Reporting website for found dead porpoises: Marine mammal reporting External link, opens in new window.
Phone: 08-519 540 00

Linnea Cervin | Förste assistent

Yessenia Rojas Sepulveda | Förste assistent

Gothenburg Museum of Natural History

If you find a dead harbour porpoise or get one as a bycatch on the west coast, you may also contact, apart from the Swedish police and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Natural History in Gothenburg.

Phone: 010-441 44 00

  • Magnus Gelang
  • Christel Johnson
  • Kennet Lundin

How do I recognise a harbour porpoise?

Harbour porpoises have very species-specific teeth that are shaped like spades and slightly flat. If the gum still remains, you can only see the very top part of the teeth that is rounded.

Dolphins, who are also toothed whales (Odontocetes), have much larger teeth that are thicker and more cone shaped compared to harbour porpoise teeth.

Privacy policy

When found dead or bycaught harbour porpoises are collected, the Swedish Museum of Natural History will store personal information such as name, phone number and e-mail. The purpose of this is to be able to communicate with the person who reported the animal and ask qustions about the material that may be sent in to the museum.

In order to pay for the compensation for collected animals we will also need a social security number and bank information that will be stored.

We also work with personal information in order to complete our governmental assignment to achieve the requirements set by authorities regarding processing and archiving public documents. The legal basis for the processing of this personal data is to fulfill tasks of public interest.

Your personal data is stored as long as required according to the museum's mission, the legislation on public documents and authorities' archives. You can read more about how the Swedish Museum of Natural History handles personal data on the page: Privacy Policy

Submitted porpoises are autopsied together with staff at the Swedish Veterinary Agency (SVA). Personal data such as name, telephone and e-mail address are therefore shared with SVA. Read more about how SVA handles personal data on their page - How we handle personal data. External link.

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