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The exact distribution of this species is poorly known. Fraser's dolphin has a pantropical distribution, largely between 30°N and 30°S in all three major oceans (Jefferson and Leatherwood 1994; Dolar 2002). Strandings in temperate areas (Victoria in Australia, Brittany and Uruguay) may represent extralimital forays connected with temporary oceanographic anomalies such as the world-wide El Niño phenomenon in 1983-84, during which a mass stranding occurred in France (Perrin et al. 1994). Bones et al. (1998) reported on a stranding on the coast of Scotland.
The species is widespread and abundant (with current population estimates around 300,000) and there have been no reported population declines or major threats identified.Habitat and Ecology
In the eastern tropical Pacific, it occurs more often in Equatorial - southern subtropical surface water and other waters typified by upwelling and generally more variable conditions (Au and Perryman 1985). Off South Africa, records are associated with the warm Agulhas Current that moves south in the summer (Perrin et al. 1994).
Fraser's dolphins feed on midwater fish (especially myctophids), squid, and crustaceans (Dolar et al. 2003). Physiological studies indicate that Fraser’s are capable of quite deep diving (and it is thought that they do most of their feeding deep in the water column – in waters up to 600 m deep), but they have been observed to feed near the surface as well (Watkins et al. 1994).
The species is widespread and abundant (with current population estimates around 300,000) and there have been no reported population declines or major threats identified.
Some Fraser’s dolphins are killed incidentally in the tuna purse-seine fishery in the eastern tropical Pacific (Gerrodette and Wade 1991): 26 were estimated taken during the period 1971 - 75. A few are also taken in gill nets in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and likely in other tropical gillnet fisheries as well. Some are killed by anti-shark nets in South Africa (Perrin et al. 1994; Cockcroft 1990). Other incidental catches in purse seines (Philippines), gillnets, driftnets (Taiwan), and trap nets (Japan) are also known (Jefferson and Leatherwood 1994).
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