Our research is helping to conserve the Hector’s dolphin. For decades, we have studied how these rare dolphins respond to boaters and swimmers, use their habitat and interact with fishing gear. Our research results help reduce the threats these dolphins face daily.
Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary
The New Zealand Department of Conservation established the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary in 1988 to help protect Hector’s dolphins. Our decades’ of research in the Sanctuary has helped guide ongoing conservation policy decisions within the New Zealand government.
Radio and Satellite Tag Studies
By tracking Hector’s dolphins with radio and satellite tags, we have learned a great deal about their daily and seasonal migration patterns, habitat use and harbor visits. This knowledge helps commercial and recreational boaters and fishers avoid negative interactions with Hector’s dolphins.
Acoustic Net Alarms
We worked with the University of New Hampshire’s Ocean Engineering Department to develop an acoustic pinger alarm for commercial fishing gear. We believed the dolphins would learn to avoid the sound of the pingers, thus reducing their risk of entanglement in fishing nets.
Through our Hector’s dolphin research program, we have investigated how these rare dolphins respond to boaters and swimmers, use their habitat and interact with acoustic pingers. We have also conducted health assessments.