As an inhabitant of coastal waters, the Atlantic humpbacked dolphin is highly vulnerable to the effects of human activities (2). Fisheries impact the dolphin, firstly, by causing incidental mortality when the dolphin becomes entangled in fishing gear (6). This is currently considered to be the greatest immediate threat to this species (1), and may be the reason behind the rarity of this species in the coastal waters of Senegal and Gambia, and in Dakhla Bay in Western Sahara, two areas in which the Atlantic humpbacked dolphin was once common (6). Secondly, fisheries may impact this dolphin by reducing the availability of prey (6). In certain areas, the Atlantic humpbacked dolphin is also captured intentionally for food by local people (5), although the numbers that are caught, and what impact this has on the population, is not known (1).
In addition to the threat of fisheries, the Atlantic humpbacked dolphin is potentially being affected by boat strikes and habitat degradation. For example, mangroves are being converted to rice cultivation in some areas, destroying an important foraging habitat of this dolphin (1) (5). A high human population density within its range, and the associated development of agriculture and industry, will undoubtedly continue to have an impact on the shallow coastal waters in which the Atlantic humpbacked dolphin is found (1) (5).