The Forest and Bird Protection Society welcomed the Minister of Conservation's decision to gazette Hector's dolphin as a
Society spokesperson, Barry Weeber, said "Hector's dolphin is found only in New Zealand waters and may be the world's
rarest marine dolphin. It is recognised by the World Conservation Union as a vulnerable threatened species."
Mr Weeber said further action was needed to protect Hector's dolphin throughout its range, particularly on the west
coast of the North Island where a genetically unique population of around 100 individuals had reached a critically low
"The main populations are found on the east coast of the South Island, west coast of the North Island, west coast of the
South Island and off Southland. In each of these areas dolphins had been found washed ashore with marks consistent with
being drowned in set nets."
"The Government should be looking at establishing marine mammal sanctuaries to protect dolphins in all areas where they
are killed in set nets, including the west coast of the South Island and west coast of the North Island."
Mr Weeber said the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary needed to be extended to include the sea from Timaru to
Motunau. The sanctuary was established in 1988 to prevent dolphins being drowned in set nets.
The Society is calling for a prohibition on set netting in areas where the dolphins live.