Commerson's dolphins were hunted for their meat and oil and more recently for crab bait. Although these practices are now illegal, they are often entangled in gillnets and other fishing gear used in nearshore waters and are occasionally killed in midwater trawl nets used for shrimp. In Tierra del Fuego alone, at least 5 to 30 dolphins die each year as by-catch in nets set perpendicular to the shore.
Near Kerguelen Island, low levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT, PCB and HCB) were found in the blubber of Commerson's dolphins, confirming the presence of pollutants in oceans far from their main source. The levels of contaminants were 10 to 100 times that of cetaceans in the North Atlantic.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: data deficient