Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Red List of Marine Mammals

Photo: Florian Graner

Five species of Baltic Sea marine mammals were assessed in the HELCOM Red List assessment: the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), the Baltic ringed seal (Phoca hispida botnica), the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina), the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), and the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). Two different subpopulations were evaluated for both the harbour porpoise and the harbour seal.

Both subpopulations of harbour porpoise were regarded threatened – the Baltic Sea population even as Critically Endangered (CR) due to the dramatic declines and current low numbers. Among seals, the ringed seal and the Kalmarsund population of the harbour seal were categorised as Vulnerable (VU), whereas the grey seal and the southern Baltic population of the harbour seal were considered Least Concern (LC). The Eurasian otter was assessed Near Threatened (NT).

Please note: In the Species Information Sheet, Phocoena phocoena and Phoca vitulina vitulina have been assessed on a subspecies level. For these species, the different threat categories and criteria can be seen in the listing below.

Species Information Sheets

Species nameThreat categoryThreat Criteria
HELCOM Red List Phocoena phocoenaPhocoena phocoenaCritically endangered (CR)/Vulnerable (VU)C1,2a(ii)/A2a
HELCOM Red List Phoca vitulina vitulinaPhoca vitulina vitulinaVulnerable (VU)/Least Concern (LC)D1/-
HELCOM Red List Phoca hispida botnicaPhoca hispida botnicaVulnerable (VU)A3c
HELCOM Red List Lutra lutraLutra lutraNear Threatened (NT)D1
HELCOM Red List Halichoerus grypusHalichoerus grypusLeast Concern (LC)