Endangered Fish and Marine Animals

The Global Water Crisis

An Overview of Endangered Fish and Marine Animals

Humans have left a strong mark on the world. Unfortunately, that mark sometimes comes at a hefty cost. Because of overfishing or damage to their natural habitat, many fish and sea animals are now threatened, endangered or on the verge of extinction because of overfishing or damage to their natural habitat. Atlantic salmon, leatherback sea turtles, blue whales, smalltooth sawfish, and coral reefs are just some of the creatures on the list of endangered fish and marine animals.

Endangered Fish and Marine Animals: Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon once swam in every river north of the Hudson. Today, the remaining wild Atlantic salmon population can only be found in eleven rivers. Only about fifteen to thirty-five percent of eggs laid by spawning salmon will survive through the fry stage because their habitats have been destroyed by acidified water, climate change, thermal pollution, the introduction of competitive non-native species, and poaching.

Endangered Fish and Marine Animals: Leatherback Sea Turtles

Leatherback sea turtles are not only the largest species of turtle, but the largest living reptile in the world. Generally these turtles remain in the open ocean, but they return to coastal areas to breed and forage. They make the list of endangered fish and marine animals for several reasons. The turtles are ingesting marine debris, they are continually entangled in nets and fishing gear, their eggs and females are being harvested, their environment is being contaminated, and they are bombarded with infection and disease

Endangered Fish and Marine Animals: Blue Whale

Blue whales once numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Today, their population worldwide is estimated at 8,000. The blue whale’s decline is primarily attributed to the overfishing of the whaling industry.

Endangered Fish and Marine Animals: Smalltooth Sawfish

Smalltooth sawfish belong to the chondrichthyes class of animals, which includes skates, rays and sharks. This class is composed of fish with cartilaginous skeletons, rather than bony ones. Sawfish are known for their distinctive long snouts, which are ringed around with teeth that are used to locate and kill prey. Smalltooth sawfish are included among endangered fish and marine animals because of their low population growth, frequent net entanglement, and loss of habitat.

Endangered Fish and Marine Animals: Coral Reefs

Although at first glance a coral reef may appear similar to stone, it is in fact composed of tiny creatures. Coral reefs are not only alive, but they also provide a habitat for many other creatures. Currently, about two-thirds of the world’s coral reefs are damaged; ten percent of the world’s reefs are damaged beyond repair. Human activity has caused about sixty percent of that damage. We’ve condemned coral reefs to the list of endangered fish and marine animals by polluting, developing along coasts near coral reefs, mining coral for ornamental purposes, introducing non-native species to their ecosystems, and aiding climate change.