Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins are both the smallest and rarest marine dolphins on earth.
For three decades gillnets and trawling have been killing Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins faster than they can breed. Hector’s dolphin numbers have dropped from around 30,000 to just over 7,000. The situation is even worse for Maui’s dolphins, a subspecies of Hector’s dolphins, which clings on with just 55 individuals and less than 20 are breeding females.
Unless these nets are banned in the dolphins' environment, Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins will become extinct.