Which species of cetaceans are found in the North Sea?

Large baleen whales and smaller dolphins

The term cetacean is the collective name for several orders of sea creatures including the baleen whales and toothed whales (dolphins and porpoises). Several species are found in the North Sea:

  • Harbour porpoises
  • White beaked dolphins
  • Common bottle nosed dolphins 
  • Short-beaked common dolphins
  • Atlantic white-sided dolphin
  • Common minke whales
  • Long-finned pilot whales
  • Humpback whales
  • Fin whales

Some species whose ranges border the Southern North Sea occasionally stray into these waters. This includes:

  • Sperm whales
  • Sowerby's beaked whales (North Atlantic or North Sea beaked whale)
  • Striped dolphins
  • Bottlenose whales

These animals are used to deep waters and feed on deep sea foods such as squid. Therefore they struggle to survive in the North Sea.