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Maui’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) are a sub-species of Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori sp.), the world’s smallest dolphin. It is one of the world’s rarest dolphins and is found only on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.
The dolphin is listed internationally as ‘critically endangered’ (IUCN Red List) and as ‘Nationally Critical’ under the New Zealand Threat Classification System.
In 2012, a DOC-commissioned study estimated the Maui’s dolphin population to consist of 55 individuals aged more than 1 year (i.e. excluding calves under a year old). This estimate has a 95% confidence interval of between 48 to 69, meaning the researchers are 95% confident that the population lies within this range. See Maui’s dolphin abundance estimate.
This small population of dolphins is thought to have been isolated from their more-numerous relatives, South Island Hector’s dolphin, for thousands of years.
WHAT THEY NEED: Full protection against gillnets and trawling across the dolphins’ habitat to a water depth of 100 m.
INFO: Fishing with gillnets and trawlnets is the primary cause of death among the last surviving Maui’s dolphins. Between them they KILL ABOUT NINE PERCENT of the tiny population that’s left every year – that’s over 75 times more than the sustainable limit. This is because only a small fraction of the dolphins’ range is protected.
The New Zealand Seafood Industry: Seafood New Zealand –www.seafoodnewzealand.org.
nz – is the industry body that has obstructed the dolphins’ protection for decades and continues to fight every conservation effort. Please take part in our tweetstorm to tell NZ’s fishing industry that enough is enough. It’s time you became a sustainable and responsible business.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW ON TWITTER: Please go to #911MauisDolphins or click here www.twitter.com/search/
realtime?q=%23911MauisDolph ins and copy & paste or retweet. Let’s get the word out now for these little Maui’s Dolphins in advance of our tweetstorm on August 8th.