What to report
Help us by reporting:
- seals with tags
- sea lions.
Call 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468) immediately if you see:
Report your sightings
There are three different ways you can report your sighting. You can use the:
The mobile app is called the Hector's Dolphin Sightings App but you're able to report all marine mammal sightings with it. The app was developed by Whale and Dolphin Conservation and SaferMe in collaboration with DOC. The data collected by the app gets shared directly with DOC.
Make lots of notes, draw pictures if need be. Photos and video footage are very useful.
You can also use these identification charts to work out what type of marine mammal it is:
- whale identification chart
- dolphin identification chart
- seal identification chart
- sea lions identification chart
You can also download:
- whale identification poster (PDF, 4,400K)
- whale identification flip cards (PDF, 9,600)
- how to spot Hector’s/Māui dolphin, southern right whales, humpback whales, and blue whales brochure (PDF, 1,058K)
- old marine mammal sighting form (PDF, 403K) includes images of marine mammals to help with species identification.
What happens with your report
Your sighting report will be recorded in a database of marine mammal sightings from all around New Zealand.
This information will help us determine things like population sizes, breeding rates and movement patterns. This helps us to look after them.
Why reporting helps
New Zealand has earned its reputation as the marine mammal capital of the world because of its profusion of marine mammals. DOC is responsible for the protection, conservation and management of all marine mammals.
To understand more about marine mammals in our waters we need more information about them. Sightings help us to do this.