Sea Life , Busan Aquarium

Breed. Rescue. Protect

At SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium, we have a lot of activities which are for the ocean and ocean animals

Finless Porpoise

The finless porpoise is the only porpoise to lack a true dorsal fin. Instead there is a low ridge covered in thick skin bearing several lines of tiny tubercles. In addition, FP is the smallest of all whales and the forehead is unusually steep compared with those of other porpoises. Finless porpoises can grow to as much as 1.5m~1.9 m in length, and can weight up to 72 kg, although most are rather smaller. Most are found in the warm waters off the coasts of India and Pacific Ocean, and in some freshwater areas and in Korea, most are found in the west coast and sometimes around the islands in the south. According to the Cetacean research Institute (CRI) of Korea, some 60,000 are said to be existing. The finless porpoise was first mentioned and described as a mermaid in ‘Jasaneobo’ (fishes of Heuksan Island), the early 19th century treatise written by a scholar in exile Jung Yak-Jeon on the fish species observed in the southwestern waters. By-catches through fish nets; and in the west coast many are caught by stow nets. Some of them are injured by fishing nets and may lose the ability to hunt. Fishing net cast by humans are the number one threat to the FPs. Stow nets are the worst as once the FPs enter, it will be difficult for them to exit. Also as the nets are underwater, the FPs will find it impossible to come to the surface to breath. The FPs that have all come to Busan Aquarium all came from fixed shore nets where they had entered and couldn’t exit but got injured by tangling with the nets.


When finless porpoises come inside a fisherman’s net, it is impossible to come to the surface to breathe and the get injured tangling with the nets. SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium and the Cetacean Research Institute (CRI) of Korea will move to the site immediately when they get a distressed call either from the fishermen or the marine police. Upon arrival, they will first check the physical condition of the FP and if determined to be in serious
injury and require immediate care, will be brought to SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium for treatment.
If found healthy, they will be released on the spot.


When finless porpoises come to SEA LIFE Busan Aquarium, they have to go through
a rehabilitation process before they are returned to their natural waters.
The rehabilitation includes regular health check-ups, feeding with variety of food,
giving the vitamins and nutritional supplements and providing a similar environment
by controlling the water quality. By taking these rehabilitation processes
we make the finless porpoise’s condition suitable to go back to the ocean.
After rehabilitation, the finless porpoises are moved to their nature habitat
and trained for about a month as they learn to hunt food on their own.
The training includes minimizing contacts with humans.


After they have gone through the release program, the FPs will be released under the following conditions: there are no health issues with the finless porpoise, they have the same level of fat body layer as in the wild, good weather condition, and optimized water temperature.

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