The Environmental Defence Society is pushing for the Treaty of Waitangi to have more presence in a revamped Marine Mammals Protection Act.
Recommendations on ways to update the Marine Mammals Protection Act are to be released in Wellington late on Tuesday.
EDS policy director Raewyn Peart says the Act was created in 1978 and has never been updated to make any reference to the Treaty of Waitangi.
But she says it would make sense to incorporate Maori, who have always had strong ties to the ocean - by including a Treaty of Waitangi clause in a revamped version of the legislation.
She also says if iwi and hapu were more involved in the protection of marine mammals, they could gain from the commercial opportunities that are available in the marine mammal tourism industry.