The North Pacific squid driftnet fishery operated out of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan targets northern right whale dolphins. It is estimated that between 1985 and 1990 this fishery took 15,000 to 20,000 dolphins per year. The population has been depleted to anywhere from 24 to 73 percent of its pre-exploitation size. A moratorium on high seas driftnets could allow population levels to increase to previous levels. This species is listed on CITES Appendix II.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern