Māui and Hector’s dolphins are often in the news. Most often though, it’s because they are caught in nets, found dead on beaches, or New Zealand is being noted for letting them slide into extinction.
The 2019 Threat Management Plan and current updates:
Threat Management Plan
A study commissioned by DOC and Fisheries New Zealand reported that there were likely to be 54 Maui dolphins over 1 year old within the survey area, with 95% confidence that the number of dolphins was between 48 and 64.
Hector’s and Māui dolphin Research Strategy 2021 was created to support the vision and goals of the Hector's and Māui Dolphin Threat Management Plan (TMP).
Changes to five marine mammal sanctuaries and the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary came into effect on 5 November.
The new measures to restrict commercial and recreational set-net and commercial trawl fishing announced in June 2020 took effect.
Reference and more information (Timeline of protection for Māui and Hector’s dolphins)
More information on the Threat Management Plan
Why is it so hard to save this species? A recent article about the countdown to extinction for Maui Dolphins
Drones will be deployed in the efforts to spot Māui dolphins, but only more investment preventing fishing entanglement, toxoplasmosis and other human impacts will save them.
Other threats dolphins are facing - Hector's dolphins in danger from retired landfill / Colac Bay erosion
Further protect South Island Hector's dolphins - Have your say. Government consultation closes on December 6th.
Further reading and references
Hector’s dolphin sightings app is an online tool to act as a portal for citizen science reporting of dolphins around New Zealand.
DoC – Visit this page for the Māui and Hector’s dolphin sightings database – mortality record, abundance estimate and info on past and proposed Threat Management Plans.
New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust – We work with a range of scientists, including world experts Professor Liz Slooten and Steve Dawson from the University of Otago and the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust.