Harbour porpoise, Essex.

First harbour porpoises of 2017 seen by Essex sailing crew

In Wildlife by admin

A couple enjoying a weekend sail near Frinton have seen harbour porpoises.

Although once common around here, porpoises are usually only seen when their young are born between July and September.

Dan and Julia Allen spied the creatures over two days at the weekend, as temperatures topped 30oC.

In an email to wildessex.com, the couple wrote: “We were out sailing at the weekend and saw a small pod of three harbour porpoises just east of west rocks, by the end of Cork Sand. That was on Sun June 18. On Monday June 19 we saw a single porpoise about a mile off Frinton beach, south end. 

“We have been on the water for the last 40 years around the Tendring coast and this is the first sighting we have had. And two in two days!”

The image below is of a porpoise in a Danish rescue centre. It was found tangled in fishing gear.

Porpoises are the UK’s smallest cetacea. They were common around Essex until the 1960s. The exact cause of their decline isn’t known, but it could be a combination of factors: increased fishing maybe, marine debris, pollution. I don’t know to be honest, and I can’t find any definitive information on it.

Keep an eye out. Birdwatchers and sailors seem to spot them most. If you’re lucky enough to see one, ping me an Email – news@wildessex.com and I’ll report more sightings here.