The available information on the status of populations of three species of dolphins in the Black Sea is reviewed. These populations were subject to a commercial fishery from 1870 to 1983, which reduced their abundances substantially but to unknown levels. The fisheries in the four bordering countries were halted because of greatly reduced catches, indicating a collapse of the dolphin stocks. The available statistics on the harvest and estimates of population size presented in Smith (1982) are summarised, and new information on recent by-catches and abundance are described. A review of recent abundance estimates reveals them to be of low reliability and unsuitable for management purposes.