August 15, 2009

Rare porpoise sightings thrill biologists

Two recent sightings of porpoises in the Baltic Sea thrilled biologists since the marine mammals were thought extinct in the region, a Swedish researcher says.

Anna Roos, a researcher at the Swedish Museum of National History, said the two porpoise sightings off Sweden's west coast occurred in a span of less than 10 days, offering encouraging news about the animals' population in the Baltic, The Local reported Saturday.

To get two reports from the central Baltic in such a short space of time is fantastic, Roos said in a statement.

We generally just get the occasional report per year form the Baltic Sea and we now encourage anybody who spends time around the Baltic Sea area to keep an eye out for porpoises and report observations to us via our website.

The Local said porpoises, which are related to whales and dolphins, have been tabbed as critically endangered in the Baltic Sea. They routinely die after becoming ensnared in fishing nets.