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Extinction Watch Mortality Tracker, dead Hector's dolphins

We recently spoke to our submission to ECan’s Long Term Plan, representing your support.


We asked ECan to think of the female Hector’s dolphin, the mother, now ascribed the title H330, and her female calf, still suckling, now called H331. On 21 February this year, they were swimming together, with their pod, catching fish in Pegasus Bay. 


They were both healthy dolphins, with a loving bond between them. The calf had recently fed from her mum. 


They were caught in a trawl net. The thin nylon net entangling their bodies cut through their fins as they fought to escape. But after up to three minutes of entanglement, they both drowned. Killing not just this generation but also the next.




The photos of this mother and her calf are very sad. Other images show the cuts and wounds to their body from the net they were killed in. The images are terribly disturbing. It’s clear they died in panic and fear, fighting for their lives in a net they could not see and had no chance of escaping.


We asked ECan to think of the other 11+ Hector’s dead in Canterbury waters since November last year. We asked ECan to think of the hundreds - maybe thousands, killed before.




ECan can stop Hector’s dolphins being killed in Canterbury waters.


From May 22 ECan will be considering whether or not to fund a coastal plan review this year. Council officials are dragging their heels and would rather wait.


But the coastal plan review is already overdue. Without urgent action, too many dolphins will continue to die.


Will you help Hector’s?


We need all Dolphin Defenders to urgently write to ECan urging them to protect Hector’s through their coastal plan review. Please contact Governance@ecan.govt.nz today, with an email along these lines:


Dear Councillors,

We know you will soon make decisions on your Long Term Plan. We urge you to update your regional coastal plan starting this year, to protect Hector’s dolphins before it’s too late. ECan, you can save Hector’s, Canterbury’s own dolphins. Start now.


Please add your signature and some of your own words.


People power has improved Māui and Hector’s protection before. We can do so again. Email ECan today.


Meanwhile, we are also launching a Māui and Hector’s ‘Extinction watch’ mortality tracker this week. It keeps tabs on what’s killing dolphins according to the Department of Conservation Māui and Hector’s dolphin incident database.



You’ll see that reported trawl catches such as the one that killed the mum H330 and calf H331, have increased 500% since the rollout of onboard cameras began last year. 


That shows more Hector’s protection is needed. 


Email ECan today - Governance@Ecan.govt.nz


Thanks for being a voice for the Aotearoa dolphin.


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