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Government recommends protecting Hawaii's 'false killer whales'

November 16, 2010 |  8:48 pm

False Killer Whale

HONOLULU — The federal government is recommending that a small population of dolphins living near Hawaii be placed on the endangered species list.

The National Marine Fisheries Service said Tuesday that it has identified 29 threats to the population's survival.

The agency is expected to post its recommendation in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

The species is called the "false killer whale" even though it's a dolphin and doesn't look like a killer whale.

An agency study published in August says the small population is in danger of inbreeding and of getting caught on fishing lines.

False killer whales are found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. But scientists estimate only about 150 or 170 live in waters up to 87 miles off Hawaii.

'Cove' star Ric O'Barry says footage of false killer whale leaping out of tank demonstrates cruelty
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-- Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press

Photo: A false killer whale leaps while chasing prey in waters off Hawaii in a 2006 photo provided by the group Earthjustice. Credit: Robin Baird / Associated Press

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