Our first patrol off Moeraki with some fantastic shots of the magic Pahu!
There are no official estimates for Pahu in the Moeraki/ Oamaru area. However the most recent finding when compared to a study in the mid 1990s shows there are about 75% less dolphin sightings (see our recent population report here: https://www.operationpahu.nz/subpopulations
There has been pronounced population decline, and a contraction in distribution off Oamaru. Interviews with fishermen from this area have revealed that “it is wide practice that dolphins are caught as bycatch by rig and elephant fisheries that occur in summer, and inshore waters”.
There used to be around 300 dolphins in this area in the 1970s. There may be as few as 20 individuals. This area really needs some urgent fieldwork.
We'll be back checking on the local population in the near future.