Our ecosystems relies on an intricate web of living species whose mere existence maintains the natural order to things. With the extinction of even just one of those species, our biological system can be severely affected. There are many contributing factors to the extinction of animals today but the most common reason is the human race.
Here are a list of five endangered marine species who face extinction:
One of the larger mammal species, these whales are found in oceans and seas around the globe and can migrate up to 25,000 kilometres a year. Before the introduction of whaling moratorium in 1966 these species were hunt to extinction for the flesh and meat. The population is estimated to have dropped by 90%. It is even a tradition to hunt whales in some parts of the world. While stocks have partially recovered, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships and noise pollution continue to impact the population of 80,000.
With almost 400 species of sharks in the vast ocean, it is easy to assume that they are flourishing down there. Quite the contrary is true. With the increasing fear and myths around sharks, these majestic sea predators are simply misunderstood. Hunted for their skin and internal organs, nearly 600 sharks are killed by humans per year. They are being killed and hunted to meet the demands in the shark fin market which has increased in recent years. For decades people have been fascinated by sharks. Shark cage diving has become a popular activity too in order to learn more yet little is still being done to ensure their protection for the future.
The Hawksbill turtle’s population has declined by 80% over the last century. Victims of trafficking in the tourist trade for their shells and meat, the Hawksbill turtle has been hunted and killed for the longest time. The decline of this species has also resulted in the degradation of other coral reef species which the Hawksbill turtle feeds on.
Dolphins are among the most intelligent marine life. Unfortunately, they are often illegally hunted for their meat. Researchers are still uncovering the secrets to the intelligent language and social behaviour amongst dolphins but still humans pose a major threat to their existence. Due to high fishing volumes, dolphins and other bigger marine life are entangled in fishing nets resulting in their death or sever injuries.
Approximately 2,270 species are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. Loss of habitats, pollution and unsustainable fishing practices are directly related to the actions of humans and affect the marine life to a fatal and dangerously alarming extent.