Is There a ‘Terrestrial Bias’ When it Comes to Conservation?

Written by on July 11, 2013 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law

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.

The Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is one of the 81 species included in the petition.

The Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is one of the 81 species included in the petition. Photo credit: NOAA.

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:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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