Hector's dolphin risk assessments: old and new analyses show consistent results

Slooten, E. and N. Davies
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Journal o the Royal Society of New Zealand
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Information on bycatch of Hector's dolphins in New Zealand waters was reviewed and new estimates were presented. Prior to 2008, 110-150 Hector's dolphins were estimated to be caught annually. Of these, 35-46 were caught of the east coast South Island. Between May 2009 and April 2010, an estimated 23 Hector's dolphins were caught of the east coast South Island. Previous risk analyses have shown similar results. Combined this information suggests continued overlap between Hector's dolphins and fisheries. The risk analyses indicate that Hector's dolphin populations could recovery to 15,000 individuals (from 7873) over the next 50 years if there was no fishing mortality. Risk analyses all indicate that the population of Hector's dolphins has declined substantially due to fishing mortality. Current management and  recovery actions are unlikely to to result in recovery of this species.