Under the Sea — September 25, 2015 at 5:00 am

8 Endangered Ocean Species and Animals

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The expansive and majestic ocean is home to some of the world’s most amazing animals. Due to pollution and commercial fishing, though, many undersea creatures are endangered and decreasing in population.

Krill
Krill is the main source of energy for whales, salmon and other sea animals. You may not be able to see krill with the naked eye, but it is one of the most important ocean species. Without krill, the largest sea creatures cannot survive. Krill is endangered because they are harvested to feed farm-raised fish.

©istockphoto/pilipenkoD

©istockphoto/pilipenkoD

Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Turtles are some of the oldest species on earth. Loggerheads are named for their bulky heads that support their powerful jaws, which can crush clams and sea urchins. Loggerheads are popular in the Mediterranean regions and are endangered due to tourism development overtaking their nesting spaces. Also, fishing nets and lines catch and tangle the hapless turtles. 

©istockphoto/hocus-focus

©istockphoto/hocus-focus

Cape Penguin
South Africa’s prized penguins are also known as Jackass Penguins, making a sound similar to a hee-hawing donkey. These penguins are popular at Boulder Beach, where humans have face-to-face interaction with the birds. Due to human pollution, lose of nesting sites, lack of food and oil spill pollution, these birds are now endangered.

©istockphoto/grahambedingfield

©istockphoto/grahambedingfield

Coral
Yes, it’s true; coral is a sea animal and is vital in the ocean’s ecosystem. Coral provides protection and shelter to small sea creatures and barrier reefs buffer the shores by reducing the size of waves. Coral is endangered due to ocean acidification and commercial fishing. Also, humans touching or standing on the reefs while snorkeling or diving damages them further.

©istockphoto/dsabo

©istockphoto/dsabo

Gray Whale
The 50-foot gray whales are distinguished by their unique vocalization capabilities. Gray whales are found throughout the Pacific and North Atlantic waters, but the northwestern Pacific population is critically endangered. Beyond fishing entanglement, gas and oil development impacts gray whales with noise pollution and reducing food sources.

©istockphoto/MogensTrolle

©istockphoto/MogensTrolle

Hector’s Dolphins
These dolphins reside in New Zealand waters. They are the smallest and rarest dolphin on the planet. They live closer to shore, and one major threat is getting caught in fishing nets. There is an estimated 7,400 of these creatures remaining and are a red list endangered species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector%27s_dolphin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector%27s_dolphin

Manatees
The largest population of manatees resides in Florida waters. There are less than 3,000 of these gentle giant vegetarian mammals in the world. Manatee populations are at risk due to algae intoxication, winter freezes that affect shallow water, boating collisions and loss of habitat.

©istockphoto/33karen33

©istockphoto/33karen33

Hammerhead Sharks
Hammerheads are creatures of the deep and roam the ocean in peace. This red list endangered shark’s population continues to decline in Mediterranean, Caribbean, Atlantic and South African waters. The major threats include fishing for shark fins and illegal sport fishing in the Indian Ocean.

©istockphoto/cdascher

©istockphoto/cdascher

like panama jack

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