There are currently 1,475 species in the United States protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Of those 1,475 species only 94 of them are from the ocean. The conservation group WildEarth Guardians is asking the federal government to begin to even out this imbalance.
On Monday, WildEarth Guardians filed a formal petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) seeking to list 81 marine species under the ESA. All of the 81 species are considered “critically endangered” or “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“Our oceans and the species that call them home are facing unprecedented threats from fishing, ocean acidification, pollution from toxic runoff and dumping of waste at sea,” said Bethany Cotton, Wildlife Program Director at WildEarth Guardians in a statement. “Our petition seeks legal protections for eighty one of the most imperiled marine species.”
While we’re on the topic of endangered species, check out this post from Scientific American’s Extinction Countdown about the four most endangered seal species.
To learn more:
- Read the statement: WildEarth Guardians Launches Major Campaign to Protect Marine Biodiversity
- View the petition
- Check out this related piece from the Washington Post: Group seeks doubling of marine species protected by Endangered Species Act
- Learn about The 4 Most Endangered Seal Species
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.