Our Oceans At Risk of Extinction: It’s Not too Late to Do Something About It Though


Manatee at Homosasa Spring National Wildlife Refuge in Homosasa, FL

If no action is taken to help marine wildlife, animals like manatees could die out

Just not too long ago, a new study done by the International Program On The State Of The Ocean (IPSO) has revealed that marine animals such as sea turtles, manatees, sharks, penguins, whales, and the marine ecosystems they all depend on are all at risk of becoming victims of an unprecedented marine mass extinction that could happen in our lifetime. But, unlike other mass extinctions of the past, this one would be the result of  generations of human activity.

This ground breaking UK study has revealed that centuries of pollution, commercial whaling, and overfishing have all caused an extreme increase in carbon dioxide emissions in the oceans that have combined to put marine animals and the ecosystems they all depend on at terrible risk of extreme danger of extinction. Sadly some of the most popular animals such as the African penguin, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, the blue fin tuna, the Hawaiian monk seal, and the Hector’s dolphin are among the many marine animal species that are becoming at risk of becoming extinct because of ever growing marine issues such as global warming , oil spills, and overfishing,

Winter the dolphin

Winter, a five-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin lost her tail in a crab trap, an example of what marine derbis can do to animals like dolphins.

Just to make matters worst, in some places in the world, there is a huge increase in “dead zones”, which are oceanic areas where fish and other animals cannot survive because of lack of oxygen is making impossible for marine plants and coral reefs to thrive, all of which the animals need to survive. There has already been a report of large dead zones in Gulf Coast which may have been a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. It seems like everything is starting to die out on us during our lifetime. This is not good because then, if everything in the ocean dies out, then, the next generation may never be able to enjoy seeing sea turtles swim in coral reefs, nor killer whales catching themselves a salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

It's never too late to do your part to save the ocean, (I am holding a sea star that I am about to return to the water in South Carolina in May 2011)

However, it’s never to late to save the oceans from a pending mass extinction. Here are some things YOU can do to make a difference when it comes to saving marine wildlife and the ecosystems they depend on for generations to come:

  1. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle any reusable and non-reusable materials
  2. Participate in an annual beach clean up in your town
  3. volunteer or intern at your local stranding or wildlife rehabilitation center. These places rely so much on the dedicated work of both interns and volunteers alike.
  4. Share your environmental concerns on the internet, your community, your friends, and even your family.
  5. Educate yourself on marine wildlife, marine biology and conservation by getting a book at a store, library, or even look the topics up on the internet.
  6. Visit a marine life facility
  7. Adopt an animal through any conservation organization that offers symbolic animal adoptions like Save the Manatee Club, The Whale Museum, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and The BC Killer Whale Adoption Program.
  8. Reduce the use of toxins in your home, school, or business
  9. Conserve water, paper, and energy.
  10. Don’t buy any wildlife-based products when on a holiday vacation in a country that sells them legally.
  11. Write letters to NOAA, Congress, your senators, or even the president.
  12. When fishing please remove any unused fishing gear from the water in order to prevent entanglements
  13. Stay at least 50-100 yards from any wild dolphin when whale watching on a non-commercial tourist vessel
  14. Stay 50 yards from any marine mammal, bird, or sea turtle when swimming in the ocean.

On behalf of all the animals at Clearwater Marine Aquarium (including Nicholas), I hope that these tips will encourage you to do your part to protect the oceans for generations to come.

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