Some of you are aware that this website gives its excess profits to various organisations, including the World-Wide Fund for Nature. They chose to use our contribution to help them in the fight to save a rare dolphin species found only off the coast of New Zealand. Like many such initiatives, its success depends on making politicians and lawmakers aware of the danger facing these dolphins, and working towards achieving changes in the law that will protect them. While not as exciting or glamorous the kinds of protest and activism that grab media attention, it is this kind of hard work at a political level than can affect the fate of an endangered species. is proud to be able to help WWF for Nature achieve its goals. It is especially pleasing given that our own financial security was so uncertain at the beginning of this year. Many thanks to all of you who have helped support us; it gives us pleasure to pass on our support in turn.

Here’s the state of play on the dolphin issue:

Already delayed by nearly two months, the Minister of Fisheries is due to announce measures to protect the critically endangered North Island Hector’s dolphin from fishing on the west coast of the North Island.

Before making his decision, Pete Hodgson must consult the new Minister of Conservation, and WWF understands Chris Carter has a matter of days to make his response.

“WWF urges Mr Carter to recommend the strongest action possible for protecting the world’s rarest marine dolphin”, said Chris Howe, Conservation Director for WWF New Zealand.

“Chris Carter’s first recommendation as Minister is one of the most closely watched, as the 15,000 plus emails to the Ministry of Fisheries from WWF supporters shows. It is also one of the most important.”

WWF is calling on Chris Carter to insist that the decision includes at least:

A ban on all set netting in the dolphin’s range, including in harbours
Observers on all trawlers within four nautical miles of the coast
Clear actions to enforce a new ban on commercial set netting, and to raise awareness about the existing recreational ban

“It is vital that the dolphin is fully protected before the new fishing season starts on 1 October”, said Chris Howe.

At least three dolphins died last summer from drowning in set nets, including one in a commercial set net. The population, which numbers less than 100, can only withstand one human-induced death every seven years.


1. The North Island Hector’s dolphin is the world’s rarest marine dolphin. The population numbers less than 100, and is found between Maunganui Bluff and Pariokariwa Point on the West Coast of the North Island.
2. A previous package of management measures, made in August 2001, was overturned by judicial review in March 2002, leaving the critically endangered dolphin at risk from drowning in set nets.
3. WWF’s full submission to the Minister of Fisheries can be found at, setting out all of WWF’s recommendations for his decision.

For further information contact:
Megan Huber, Communications Manager, WWF New Zealand,