An especially rare marine mammal species, the Black Sea Harbor Porpoise, was found stranded along the southern coast of Samos island.
This is the first sighting of this species in this part of the Aegean. In over 20 years of research by Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation on marine mammals populations in the eastern Aegean, we have never seen porpoises at sea, nor stranded on the shores.
A few scattered sightings have been made in the previous years of a small and isolated porpoise population further north of the Aegean, in the wider area of the Thracian Sea, while sporadic and rare recordings have been made in other areas of the Aegean. A small but important population of an estimated 500 porpoises, lives in the Black Sea.
Some information regarding the relatively unknown marine mammal:
The Black Sea Harbor Porpoise is roughly 1.4m long and weighs around 50kg. It feeds on a variety of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. Its life expectancy is around 25 years and is found in both coastal and shallow offshore waters.
It is identifiable by its plump body, rounded head, low triangular dorsal fin and the lack of prominent beak.
Concluded from the notably small population of the species in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea the harbor porpoise is especially vulnerable against the impacts of overfishing, and in general the increasing degradation of the sea caused by human activity.
We would like to thank the Port Police of Pythagorio, the Volunteer Firefighters of Pythagorio and the active members of the community for their cooperation in this incident.