The cephalorcins of Maui (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui), the smallest dolphins in the world, are destined to disappear by 2030. The alarm was given during the last meeting of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), in San Diego (California).
Reporting on the fate of small mammals was Nabu, the German organization for the conservation of endangered species, committed to monitoring the last remaining specimens, in the waters off New Zealand. Despite calls for action from many sides, the company seems difficult, if not impossible.
Always less. These dolphins, which live exclusively in the waters of the North Island (New Zealand), are the smallest in the world: they measure from 1.2 to 1.6 meters and weigh around 50 kg. What distinguishes them from other dolphins (Delphinidae) is the rather rounded dorsal fin and the color, white in the lower part of the body and gray on the sides.
The extinction process of the Maui dolphins, which began in the 1970s, seems to be nearing its end. From the 1800 copies registered in 1970, today it has reached an altitude of fifty. Of these, only fifteen are fertile females. Between indiscriminate fishing and the absence of real protection, the chances of reproduction and perpetuation of the species are rather low.
Insufficient measures. According to the Nabu report, the main cause of the disappearance of these cetaceans is fishing with the mail net method. These are very large vertical nets that are thrown into the sea with the aim of trapping as many fish as possible. Among the unfortunates, more and more often dolphins also end up.
Although the New Zealand government has already tried to limit this type of fishing, Nabu's president, Barbara Maas, denounces the exaggerated tolerance of the authorities and the inability to take truly effective measures to protect these animals.
Below, the countdown to extinction for Maui dolphins in a video montage a few years ago.
According to the German organization, taking into account the reproductive cycles of dolphins and single specimens, targeted interventions would allow the end of 4-18 years to be delayed, but the total number of specimens is no longer sufficient to guarantee the continuity of the species and the extinction is now inevitable. It is only a matter of time.