Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin


  • Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin
  • Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin
  • Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin
  • Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin
  • Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin

The Atlantic white-sided dolphin is a regular visitors to the Gulf from spring to fall, especially off the coast of the Lower North Shore.

Especially abundant, it is also observed in the Gaspé and approaches the coasts in summer and fall.

The population of the white-sided dolphin in the Gulf is estimated at 12,000 individuals.

Its presence in the Estuary is exceptional and generally short-lived.

The Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin live in the cold temperate waters of the North Atlantic.

The Atlantic white-Sided Dolphin does not appear in the List of threatened or vulnerable species in Quebec.

This species is listed as “not as risk” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

This species is designated “least concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s” (IUCN) List Red List of Threatened Species.

They feed primarily on small pelagic fish, squid and occasionally small benthic crustaceans.

Illustrated species: (from high to low, from left to right): herring, squid, shrimps.

This gregarious species live in groups ranging from 3 to 50 or so individuals, which in turn make up larger herds containing several hundred or even several thousand animals.

Photo credit: Jean Lemire

The vocal repertory of these two species is not known.

It is assumed that, like other odontocetes, they emit high-frequency sounds to navigate and detect their prey (echolocation) as well as lower-frequency sounds.

Dolphins are fast swimmers and can attain speeds of between 25 and 45 km/h.

Their swimming is both energetic and spectacular.

They leap and spin out of the water and land noisily on the surface.

Photo credit: Jean Lemire

Their diving habits are poorly known, but their prey are generally located within 100 m of the surface.

No research is currently dedicated to this specie in particular.

Nevertheless, it is possible to consult the multi-species researches listed on Whales online to learn more about the researches leaded on the St. Lawrence River species.