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How to Help

There are many small things you can do to help Hector’s dolphins:

  • Make sure your choice of fish and chips is dolphin friendly. Forest and Bird have prepared a guide to eco-friendly seafood: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/publications/-best-fish-guide. Try to avoid species caught by trawlers or set netters.
  • Immediately report strandings to DOCs and Project Jonah. Do not try to push the stranded animal back out to sea- trained experts need to assess the animal.DOC Stranding Hotline: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468). Project Jonah Stranding Hotline: 0800 4 WHALE (0800 4 94253).
  • Report Maui sightings to DOC. Phone: +64 4 471 0726. Email: marine@doc.govt.nz
  • Become a trained dolphin rescuer with Project Jonah: http://www.projectjonah.org.nz.
  • If you fish, make sure you remove all netting and line before you go home. Don’t use a set net in restricted locations and preferably don’t use a set net at all.
  • Don’t litter and choose not to use plastic bags- many dolphins die from mistakenly consuming plastic objects, thinking they are prey food. When you go to the beach, take an extra bag and fill it with rubbish that you find. Every piece you remove from the marine environment may save a sea animal.
  • Don’t release helium balloons- they often end up being taken by currents towards the ocean and again end up getting consumed by mistake.
  • Dolphins are sometimes injured via boat strikes so be careful whenever you are boating. Best to go slow (no more than 5 knots) in areas where dolphins are known to frequent.
  • Ask your local Member to support better management of marine pollution and trawling. There is mounting evidence that small cetaceans are affected by industrial waste products including heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and by bacterial and viral pollution from sewage outfall. We also know that Maui dolphins are impacted by commercial trawling practices.
  • Support more marine protected areas and national parks in order to protect dolphin habitat.
  • Organise a fund raising event to raise funds and donate to a Hector’s dolphin fund.