Report of the International Whaling Commission (1992)


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.