Management Overview

On July 15, 2013, NOAA Fisheries received a petition (pdf, 538 pages) to list Hector's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. On February 21, 2014, we concluded that the petition presented substantial information that listing may be warranted for Hector’s dolphin and requested information on this species from the public. After completing a status review (pdf, 90 pages), we proposed to list the Māui dolphin (C. hectori māui) as endangered and the South Island Hector’s dolphin (C. hectori hectori) as threatened . On, September 19, 2017, after reviewing the best available data, NOAA Fisheries published a final rule listing the Māui dolphin as endangered and the South Island Hector’s dolphin as threatened.

Conservation Efforts

Dolphin-Safe/Tuna Tracking and Verification Program

Dolphins, like other marine mammals, may become bycatch in fisheries. Some species of tuna are known to aggregate beneath schools of certain dolphin stocks. In some parts of the world, this close association led to the fishing practice of encircling a dolphin school to capture the tuna concentrated below. The Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act established a national tuna tracking program to ensure that tuna imported into the United States meets certain requirements to ensure the safety of dolphins during tuna fishing operations.

Learn more about the Dolphin-Safe/Tuna Tracking and Verification Program