Purposeful porpoise training at Fjord&Bælt: The first 25 years

Magnus Wahlberg, Mats Amundin, Kirstin Anderson Hansen, Søren Hechmann Andersen, Marie-Anne Blanchet, Sabrina Brando, Andreas Brogaard Buhl, Geneviéve Desportes, Sabina Fobian Hansen, Christina Lockyer, Lee Miller, Marianne Rasmussen, Ursula Siebert, Mette Thybo

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During the past 25 years, Fjord&Bælt (F&B) in Denmark has kept harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) for research and education. Some animals were bycaught in static fishing gear and then brought to the center under a special permit, and some were born at the facility. At F&B, the harbour porpoises are trained several times every day for research projects, public presentations for visitors, and educational programs for schools. They are also provided with enrichment activities in addition to the enclosure’s natural and dynamic habitat. The center’s research on animal behaviour, reproductive and diving physiology, outreach, and bioacoustics have resulted in more than 60 scientific publications, involving scientists from research institutions in Denmark and abroad. There is a close collaboration between F&B and the adjacent Marine Biological Research Center (MRC) of the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), also established in 1997.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAquatic Mammals
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)104-116
Number of pages116
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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