Field Studies of Porpoises, Dolphins & Whales
in San Francisco Bay and on the Coast of Northern California

Content copyright © 2017. Golden Gate Cetacean Research. All rights reserved.

  • your name

  • date and time of sighting

  • location (be specific)

  • were you on shore, or on a boat?

  • species seen

  • number of animals

  • behavior (including direction of travel)

  • do you have any photos?



Harbor porpoises are smaller with a short triangular dorsal fin, while bottlenose dolphins are larger with a taller more curved dorsal fin.

Did you see a porpoise or a dolphin?

Report your sighting!

Please enter your e-mail address, and in the box below tell us:

CAlling all citizen scientists

Observations you provide on porpoises, dolphins and whales are valuable and add to our knowledge of these species. If you have an interesting or unusual sighting of any cetacean, please send us your report by filling out the form on the right. Thanks!

We are especially interested in reports of harbor porpoises in San Francisco Bay north of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge or south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

We would also like reports of bottlenose dolphins from Half Moon Bay north, and if you can take photos of their dorsal fins, we may be able to match a known individual to our catalog.

If you spot a humpback whale anywhere in San Francisco Bay, we'd like to hear about it.    

E-mail addresses for project leaders are found on the Research Team page. Or you may use the sightings report to ask questions. 

Remember, if you see a marine mammal that appears sick or injured, call The Marine Mammal Center's Stranding Hotline: (415) 289-7325.

For dead marine mammals, call the California Academy of Sciences Hotline at (415) 379-5381, and you can report it here.