Illegal and unsustainable fishing, fossil fuel exploration, climate crisis According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), diseases are threatening marine species with extinction. red listwith populations of dugongs, abalone shellfish and columnar corals at risk of extinction forever.
Marine life is facing a “perfect storm” of human over-consumption, threatening the survival of some of the world’s most valuable seafood, according to a conservation organization that publishes the most up-to-date information on the health of Earth’s wildlife populations.
From South Africa to Australia, 20 of the world’s 54 abalone species are threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN’s first scientific assessment of the species group. In East Africa and New Caledonia, dugongs – marine mammals that feed mainly on seaweed – are threatened with extinction due to oil and gas exploration, bottom trawling, chemical pollution and mining.
The information comes as countries discuss biodiversity targets to protect the planet this decade Police 15with proposals to take radical action on species extinction this decade.
“Today’s IUCN red list update reveals a perfect storm of unsustainable human activity destroying marine life around the world. As the world looks to the ongoing UN Conference on Biodiversity to set the course for nature’s recovery, we simply cannot afford to fail,” said IUCN Director-General Dr Bruno Oberle. “We urgently need to address the climate and biodiversity crises linked to profound changes in our economic systems, or else we risk losing the important benefits the oceans provide us.”
Among those at risk is the endangered Omani abalone, found in the Arabian Peninsula, where more than half of its range has disappeared due to pollution from agricultural and industrial runoff causing harmful algal blooms. Off the west coast of South Africa, poaching by criminal networks, many linked to the international drug trade, has decimated perlemoen pufferfish populations.
Fewer than 250 mature dugongs remain in the western Indian Ocean and fewer than 900 in New Caledonia.
“Strengthening community-led fisheries management and expanding non-fishing employment opportunities are critical in East Africa, where marine ecosystems are central to people’s food security and livelihoods,” said Evan Trotzuk, who led the East Africa Red List of Mammals assessment.
“Furthermore, the establishment of additional dugong protected areas, particularly around the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park [in Mozambique]will also empower local communities and other stakeholders to find, implement and benefit from solutions that prevent long-term declines in dugong abundance as well as seagrass size and quality.”
Found from the Caribbean to the Yucatan Peninsula, the columnar coral was also part of the latest round of IUCN red list assessments and was moved from vulnerable to critically endangered after its population declined by more than 80% since 1990. A disease that causes a decrease, bleach from climate crisis and fertilizer runoff.
There are 150,388 species assessed by scientists for the IUCN red list, of which 42,108 are threatened with extinction. Of the 17,903 marine animals and plants analyzed, more than 1,550 are at risk of permanent extinction, and global warming affects at least 41% of threatened marine species.
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