Skip to content
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Science
  • Stop whaling
My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

That is until one day when I saw a different kind of article that piqued...
A Sliver of Hope from a Sad Start to Right Whale Calving Season

A Sliver of Hope from a Sad Start to Right Whale Calving Season

From there, our office anxiously waits every day as reports come from the latest aerial...
Big win for orcas –  the Klamath River dams are coming down

Big win for orcas – the Klamath River dams are coming down

This is a vital step to restoring abundant salmon in the river and boosting the...
Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Canada banned whale and dolphin captivity last year, leaving two facilities holding captive individuals: Vancouver...

Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

Two beautiful Hector's dolphins leap just off new Zealand's coast. © Mike Bossley

A significant victory in the fight to save dolphins in New Zealand from extinction! This comes in the form of stricter fishing and environmental protections for the critically endangered Māui and endangered Hector’s dolphins that have been sanctioned by the government.

This gives the Māui and Hector’s a fighting chance of survival and comes after a long campaign by WDC.

Hector's and Māui dolphins are the smallest dolphins in the world. They live only around New Zealand and death in nets has driven them closer to a point where we would lose these species forever. Their numbers began plummeting in the 1970s, as the use of plastic nylon netting rapidly expanded around New Zealand.

There are fewer than 60 Māui dolphins left and Hector's have been reduced to less than 25% of their former numbers.

WDC congratulates the New Zealand government for its decision to put in place stricter fishing and environmental protections for these endangered dolphins.

Mike Bossley from WDC said:  ‘This is a big win for dolphins and for New Zealand’s reputation as a green nation.  WDC has campaigned for Māui and Hector’s dolphins for over twenty years and, while this decision doesn’t go as far as we had hoped, it is a big leap forward.  This eleventh-hour reprieve gives the Māui dolphin a fighting chance to come back the brink of extinction.'

‘More than 60,000 WDC supporters petitioned for these protections and we are delighted that the coalition government of Jacinda Ardern has listened.  We are especially pleased to see the protection of the sea around the top of the South Island, a decision backed up by data collected by members of the public using WDC’s dolphin sightings app.  This is a huge vote of confidence in the value of citizen science.’

While WDC welcomes the good news, we will continue to work hard to lower the risks these dolphins still face.

A big 'thank you' to all of our supporters who have helped with this campaign so far.

Please donate to help us continue to fight to protect these small dolphins and give them a bright future!

One of the best ways you can help whales and dolphins is to share the good news!

Related News

My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

That is until one day when I saw a different kind of article that piqued my interest. This article covered the psychology of a prolonged...
A Sliver of Hope from a Sad Start to Right Whale Calving Season

A Sliver of Hope from a Sad Start to Right Whale Calving Season

From there, our office anxiously waits every day as reports come from the latest aerial survey flown over the calving area. These surveys fly over...
Big win for orcas –  the Klamath River dams are coming down

Big win for orcas – the Klamath River dams are coming down

This is a vital step to restoring abundant salmon in the river and boosting the food available for endangered Southern Resident orcas.  On November 17th,...
Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Canada banned whale and dolphin captivity last year, leaving two facilities holding captive individuals: Vancouver Aquarium and MarineLand. If you are able to make a...