New report documents increases in dolphin populations in the eastern tropical Pacific

report released by Southwest Fisheries Science Center on June 4, 2008 documents increased abundance estimates for northeastern offshore spotted dolphins and eastern spinner dolphins. These two stocks had been severely depleted as a result of being captured and accidentally killed in the purse-seine fishery for tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.  Due to a number of domestic and international conservation efforts, the number of reported dolphin deaths in the fishery has been greatly reduced.  Despite this success, these dolphin stocks have not recovered at the expected rate given the low number of deaths.  However, the new estimates are an indication of possible recovery by both stocks.  While these results are cause for optimism, further monitoring and analysis is needed before a firm conclusion can be reached as to whether eastern tropical Pacific dolphins are recovering.