Species Guide

Cetacean species present in Greece

Greek waters still harbour a remarkable richness of cetacean fauna compared to the rest of the Mediterranean. At least six are the cetaceans species present year-round: striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (hereafter bottlenose dolphin), short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus).

Bottlenose dolphins because of their primarily coastal distribution are probably those more negatively affected in numerous ways by anthropogenic impacts such as, incidental mortality in fishing gear, prey depletion caused by overfishing, boat disturbance, pollution and habitat degradation. There are indications that the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) and the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) could be also resident, with the porpoise being the most likely.



Download a printable “Common Greek Cetacean Species Guide” in PDF format





Cetacean Species Commonly Occurring in the Greek Seas

Cetacean Species Rarely Occurring in the Greek Seas and Around

Recommended reading

Frantzis A. 2009. Cetaceans in Greece: Present status of knowledge. Initiative for the Conservation of
Cetaceans in Greece, Athens, Greece, 94 pp.,

Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Bearzi G. 2010. National Strategy and Action Plan for the conservation of cetaceans in
Greece, 2010-2015. Initiative for the Conservation of Cetaceans in Greece, Athens. 55 pp.

Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Birkun A., Jr. 2010. Conserving whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Mediterranean and Black Seas: an ACCOBAMS status report, 2010. ACCOBAMS, Monaco. 212 p.