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Harbour Porpoise visits Colchester

Trevor Griggs had an extraordinary experience while walking along the Hythe opposite Essex University when he saw a fin rising from the river. For several minutes he got fabulous views of a harbour porpoise swimming upstream towards Colchester. It is not unusual to see Harbour Porpoises on the Essex coast however sightings this far upstream on the Colne are rare.


The Harbour porpoise is our smallest Essex cetacean - a group that includes whales and dolphins - usually measuring 1.5m to 1.8m long (5 or 6 feet). With its small triangular dorsal fin and dark stocky body it is one of the easiest to identify. Even though it is the most common cetacean on the Essex coast it has suffered declines due to food shortages and deaths in fishing nets so sightings such as this are very important.

FURTHER UPDATE 18/03/24 15:00

Although this film was taken on Friday 15th the porpoise is still being seen in the area. As cetaceans can become stranded in shallow water the British Divers Marine Life Rescue are monitoring the animal to ensure that if it shows signs of distress it can be attended to. Thankfully it is feeding normally which is usually a good sign of a healthy animal so the hope is that it will eventually make its own way back out to the Estuary without need for assistance.

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Hi Is the video of the porpoise from this morning? If so good news it is moving back to sea.


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British Divers Marine Life Rescue have been informed of the porpoise and have been assessing whether it is in any danger to take it back out to sea if needed. However at present it is feeding, which is always seen as a good sign, and with any luck it will return to the estuary of its own accord before too long.

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