For some years now TORN has been donating its excess profits to various charities including the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Our contribution was being channeled towards research on Hector’s Dolphin, the smalles – and one of the rarest -dolphins in the world. It may be that research which has led to the re-classification of part of the Hector’s Dolphin population, with a better identification of the needs of this most endangered species. The WWF press release follows:

Maui’s dolphin classification a positive step

The classification of the North Island Hector’s dolphin as a separate sub-species, Maui’s dolphin, will strengthen efforts to protect it, according to WWF New Zealand.

“Maui’s dolphin is now officially the world’s rarest marine dolphin”, said WWF New Zealand Chief Executive Jo Breese.

“The classification justifies a zero risk management approach; closing the dolphin’s known range to set net fisheries, both recreational and commercial, and fully enforcing that ban. This must include all harbours and river mouths.”

“WWF hopes the Minister of Fisheries will quickly announce complete protection measures, which are long overdue.”

“In particular, it is crucial that the Minister restricts trawling and Danish seining; this is not currently included in MFish’s protection plans.”

“The summer fishing season has already started, and that is when Maui’s dolphins are most at risk of capture. Three died last summer under partial and largely unenforced protection measures. This cannot be allowed to happen again.”

“Maui’s dolphin can no longer be considered as one of four populations of Hector’s dolphin; we expect to see more government effort directed towards protecting it.”