Calls for ban till trawling in bid to save endangered dolphins

There are renewed calls for the government to ban gill netting and trawling in a bid to save the endangered Hector's and Maui dolphin populations.

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International advocates have joined the fight to protect Hector and Maui dolphins. Source: 1 NEWS

International advocacy group, Mission Blue Foundation, are visiting New Zealand from the United States to learn more about the mammals.

There are currently only 50 Maui's left and ten thousand Hector's - native only to New Zealand.

Representatives were able to see hector's in their natural habitat for the first time, as well as swim with them in Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula near Christchurch.

Barbara Maas says being able to see them instead of being on the other side of the planet was a huge experience and a 'treat' she wished everyone could have.

The government's currently in the process of reviewing the way Maui and Hectors dolphin are protected. In the coming months a threat management plan is set to be released by the government which will then be open to the public.

Liz Slooten, a professor from Otago University's been studying and fighting to protect the mammals for the past two decades.

She says it's important people have their say when submissions open.

"It's our only chance to save these beautiful species from extinction".