Franciscanas live very close to the coast, and for this reason they are more susceptible to impacts caused by different human activities, which can affect them directly or indirectly. Chemical water pollution can contaminate animals through the food chain; overfishing reduces food availability in the environment; Noise pollution, caused by boats, ships, port activities and enterprises, which produce noise in the aquatic environment that can compromise the franciscanas’ auditory system, cause stress, or lead the animals to abandon important areas for their survival.

However, the biggest threat currently affecting the species is mortality due to bycatch in gillnets, used both in artisanal and industrial fishing. There is a great overlap between the areas of occurrence of franciscanas and the areas most used for fishing, which is at the origin of the problem. The franciscanas get caught in the nets and quickly asphyxiate to death. Since 2014, the franciscana has been included in the Official List of Endangered Brazilian Fauna in the “critically endangered” category. Worldwide, the franciscana is in the “vulnerable” category (according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN).