Like many other cetaceans, the Burmeister's porpoise is often taken as bycatch in fishing nets. Van Waerebeek et al. studied the number of cetaceans caught by fisheries at Cerro Azul on the central coast of Peru. In 87 days, a total of 91 out of 722 (12.6%)cetaceans caught were Phocoena spinipinnis. Exploitation occurs in Peru and Chile, where the animals are shot or harpooned and subsequently sold for their meat, which is used as both bait in crab fisheries and consumed by humans. Purposeful catches have decreased since 1994 when stricter legislation was implemented, however the bycatches have not. The only known natural predator of Phocoena spinipinnis is the killer whale.
CITES: appendix ii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: data deficient