Maui dolphins – New Zealand’s national treasures

Like the kiwi, the Maui dolphin is an important part of New Zealand’s natural heritage.

Maui dolphins are found only off the west coast of the North Island – nowhere else in the world. There are only about 63 adult Maui dolphins left – they are the smallest marine dolphin in the world and IUCN-listed as critically endangered.

These dolphins can be saved if the New Zealand Government supports affected fishers to move to dolphin-friendly methods of fishing and extends the ban on set netting and traditional trawling fishing to cover all of their known range. This requires a genuine sanctuary from Maunganui Bluff to the Whanganui River mouth, including harbours, out to 100 metres deep. Currently, less than half of their habitat is protected.

This is a conservation emergency requiring concerted and collaborative action.

You can help by reporting Maui dolphin sightings by:

• downloading the free sightings app (iPhone or android ) at

• phone 08004MAUIS or

• make your report at

WWF-New Zealand is happy to support Maui Dolphin Day 2017, March 18.