Are there twice as many Hector's dolphins as previously thought? Or 1 million times as many?
One of the estimates from the most recent survey, funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries, suggests there are more than 7 billion Hector's dolphins. The researchers agreed that it's very unlikely that there are 7 billion dolphins and threw this estimate out (and others that were similarly unbelievable), before taking the average of the remaining estimates.
The methods used by the Ministry for Primary Industries survey, to extrapolate from the number of sightings made to the total number of dolphins, have come in for criticism from independent scientists during peer review. The survey methods and data analysis have been scrutinized several times over the last three years, by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission and other experts. We will outline the key problems with the survey, in plain English. ... See MoreSee Less
This came out while we were in the Auckland Islands (without internet or email access). Nice story, focusing on the fact that Hector's dolphins range much further offshore (at least 20 nautical miles offshore) than the protected areas (which extend to 4 nautical miles).
Research by the NZ Whale and Dolphin Trust, published in 2006, already showed this. The recent survey, funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed that dolphins range much further offshore than protection from dolphin deaths in gillnet and trawl fisheries. ... See MoreSee Less