More porpoises for Danish facility?

The Fjord & Bælt facility in Denmark has for many years held harbour porpoises obtained via bycatch or stranding for use as part of an ongoing study programme.

The facility is authorized under license by the Danish Nature Agency to hold up to 4 harbour porpoises for study/research purposes and currently holds one female, Freja – the male Eigil having died in 2016.   Despite this facility operating under license for research, the public is able to view the porpoises being fed/trained and the animals have been allowed to breed (although none of the 4 calves born at the facility has survived.)

We understand that the facility now plans to apply to take at least two further harbour porpoises to add to their collection. DFE have written on 19 November 2019 to the Danish Minister of Environment, Lea Wermelin and also the Danish Nature Agency, requesting that in future any porpoises obtained via stranding/bycatch are not retained at Fjord & Bælt, and that the Ministry consider phasing out the keeping of harbour porpoises at the facility in favour of focusing on wild studies, such as the existing research being carried out on the wild population annually as part of Denmark’s NOVANA survey programme.