Sixty-four harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)strandings were reported from Maine to North Carolina between January and June, 1993 (Table I, Figure I). Fifty of these harbor porpoises stranded in the Mid-Atlantic region (New York - North Carolina) between 23 February and IS May 1993 (Figures 2-6). The majority of strandings were reported from VirginiainApril(n=IO, Table 2). Onthe basis of preliminary reports that recovered carcasses incurred strange cuts and unusual body damage, the Northeast Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) convened a workshop on harbor porpoise mortalities and human interactions.
Significant management interest in this species and these strandings stems from a recent proposal to list the Gulf of Maine harbor porpoise popUlation as tlueatened under the Endangered Species Act. l NMFS submitted this proposal due to the high number of harbor porpoise mortalities in the Gulf of Maine sink gillnet fishery. The widespread occurrence of harbor porpoise strandings in 1993 along the MidAtlantic coast suggested that fisheries interactions might be occurring outside the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy.
There were two primary goals proposed for the workshop. First, we sought to determine if any of the stranded harbor porpoises exhibited signs of human interactions. Second, we aimed to develop a reliable protocol for making
|Series||NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/NER-5|
|Publisher||U.S. Department of Commerce|
|Department||U.S. Department of Commerce|