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What does Fish Forever do?

We promote and support marine protection initiatives within, near and beyond New Zealand's Bay of Islands.
We meet the last Thursday of every month in Paihia and welcome new members.
Please get in touch | 027 243-1777

Dolphins in distress

We're loving them to death! In the Bay of Islands 75% of calves die before reaching adulthood...


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Bottlenose dolphins in the Bay of Islands need our help!

Bottlenose dolphin feedingPhoto: Cat PetersA Massey University report has made the following findings about the Bay of Islands dolphin population:

  • Since 1999 the number of local bottlenose dolphin visiting the Bay of Islands has declined by 66%
  • It is estimated 75% of dolphin calves have died before reaching independence.
  • Dolphins spend 86% of daylight hours in the presence of at least one boat.
  • Both commercial and private vessels are altering the behaviours of the dolphins and in particular affecting those behaviours which are biologically critical for their survival.


The best protection for dolphins in the Bay is to give them more space.

If you do come across them, please make sure you're familiar with the simple rules below.


How you can help

actions to help dolphinGraphic: Department of Conservation

  • If there are three or more boats within 300m of dolphins, wait 300m away until some boats leave to avoid crowding the dolphins 

  • Keep a watch for dolphins – especially around Tapeka. Slow down early and gradually.

  • If you are passing through an area with dolphins give the dolphins a wide berth.

  • If you would like to observe bottlenose dolphins switch off your motor and give the animals plenty of space – this lets the dolphins carry on with important activities like nursing and catching fish. If they are not interested, leave them alone.

  • Dolphin mums and calves are especially vunerable, please give them extra space. If you spot a dolphin less than half the size of an adult, keep your vessel 100 m away from the mother and calf

  • Give bottlenose dolphins a break from all boats between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm – do not approach them during this time.


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Download DoC's brochure

Download DoC's: Make a difference help protect bottlenose dolphins

Read Massey's article: "Report finds Bay of Islands bottlenose dolphins at risk"

Read Stuff article: "Urgent intervention needed to keep dolphins in the Bay"

Read NZ Herald article: "Dolphins loved too much"

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Join Fish Forever

nudi spongeAll of us with an interest and love of Tangaroa, let's work together and take on the challenge of marine protection for the Bay.

Annual Membership Rates:
Student/concession - $15.00
Affiliate (please name organistation) - $15.00
Individual - $25.00
Family - $35.00

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