Snowplow, the 18-year-old female humpback that washed up in Rye, N.H. on June 27, 2016, was killed by a vessel strike, according to Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the New England Aquarium.
HUMPBACK SHOWING PROPELLER INJURIES, VIRGINIA, USA, 2017
BODY FLOATING OFFSHORE, DELAWARE, USA, 2017
Humpback whales live in all major oceans from the equator to sub-polar latitudes.
Humpbacks are among the most endangered whales and fewer than 10% of their original population remains.
NINE UMEs involving LARGE whales, 2000 TO 2017, Updated: April 27, 2017:
Unusual die-offs of humpback whales in the Atlantic Ocean were also reported in 2003, 2005 and 2006, NOAA said.
The cause of those deaths were undetermined.
"UNDETERMINED", YEAR AFTER YEAR, "CAUSE UNDETERMINED".
Large whales (primarily humpback whales) Gulf of Maine (ATLANTIC) Undetermined
2005 Large whales North Atlantic Undetermined
2006 Humpback whales North Atlantic Undetermined
2007 Cetaceans California Undetermined
2007 Large whales California Human Interaction
2010 Cetaceans Northern Gulf of Mexico Human Interaction
2015, Large whales Western Gulf of Alaska Undetermined
2017, Humpback whales Atlantic (ME-NC) Undetermined
PLEASE NOTE: OF ALL THE 63 DECLARED UMEs, ONLY 12 OCCURRED BEFORE 2000, AND 51 HAVE OCCURRED SINCE 2000.
DOLPHINS/PORPOISES HAVE HAD THE MOST UMEs DECLARED, IN EVERY SEA.
Humpback Whale Strandings by State
|2017 (thru 4/24)||1||0||1||0||6||0||2||1||0||5||16|
Humpback whales have been dying in extraordinary numbers along the Eastern Seaboard since the beginning of last year.
Marine biologists have a term for it — an “unusual mortality event” — but they have no firm idea why it is happening.
Forty-one whales have died in the past 15 months along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Maine.
In a news conference on Thursday, officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said that they had not identified the underlying reason for the mass death, but that 10 of the whales are known to have been killed by collisions with ships.
The agency is starting a broad inquiry into the deaths.
AND IT'S THE SAME OLD SPIEL THIS TIME LIKE ALL THE OTHERS... "WE'LL INVESTIGATE, GET BACK TO YOU", BUT THEY DON'T.
LOOK AT THE CHART ABOVE AND THE ONE FOUND ON NOAA's WEBSITE <HERE>, NOTHING HAS BEEN "DECLARED" AS THE CAUSE IN HALF THE UMEs OVER THE PAST 26 YEARS.
AND THAT CAUSE THEY NAMED "ECOLOGICAL FACTORS", YEAH, THAT'S "UNSPECIFIED".
WHAT ALL DOES THE CAUSE NAMED "BIOTOXINS" CONSIST OF, NOT JUST THAT 'SHORT LIST'?
WHERE ARE THE LISTS OF ALL THOSE "KNOWN CAUSES"?
Ten whales other than those killed by ships have been examined, but officials have not yet determined the cause of death. There is no indication that they were killed by disease.
AND THAT 41 IN 15 MONTHS? THAT'S JUST THE ONES THAT WASHED ASHORE ON OUR ATLANTIC COAST.
ACCORDING TO STANFORD,
"For every ONE whale, sea lion, dolphin or other dead ocean citizen found on a beach, scientists estimate that between 3 to 10 of the same species died out in the ocean and never came to shore. Sea animals that die out in the ocean just quietly sink beneath the waves and settle to the bottom of the ocean, never to be seen or heard from again.
Whale populations are too low to resume commercial hunting, geneticists find."
On average, eight humpback whales are stranded each year from Maine to Virginia, and fewer than two are hit by ships, according to data from NOAA.
An unusual mortality event is a specific designation under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and is defined as “a stranding that is unexpected, involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population, and demands immediate response.”
From 1991 to the present, there have been 63 formally recognized UMEs in the U.S., involving a variety of species and dozens to hundreds of individual marine mammals per event.
Causes have been determined for ONLY 32 of the 63 UMEs documented since 1991.
The population along the Atlantic coast, which winters in the Caribbean and summers in the North Atlantic or Arctic regions, is not now considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Around the world, there are an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 humpback whales, about a third of its original population. The Atlantic population is around 10,000.
Among humpback whales, there was an unusual mortality event in 2006.
THERE WAS ALSO A U.M.E. IN 2015 WITH 14 DEAD HUMPBACKS OFF THE ALASKAN COAST, PACIFIC OCEAN....CAUSE UNKNOWN, NOAA STATED.
Experts puzzled as 30 whales stranded in 'unusual mortality event' ...
30, WITHIN A 4-MONTH TIME FRAME, 14 HUMPBACKS..
The Guardian-Aug 22, 2015
"Experts puzzled as 30 whales stranded in 'unusual mortality event' in Alaska ... Since the beginning of May, 11 fin whales, 14 humpbacks, one gray whale and four unidentified cetaceans have stranded on islands of the western gulf of Alaska and along the peninsula’s southern shore. Most died in the Kodiak archipelago."
THE 'EXPERTS' CLAIMED PROBABLE CAUSE OF DEATH WAS TOXIC ALGAE, THEN WERE PROVEN WRONG, AND AFTER THAT, SILENCE FROM THE EXPERTS.
AFTER THEOR ALLEGED "INVESTIGATIONS', NOAA STATES "CAUSE UNDETERMINED".
"WATER TOO WARM, WATER TOO COLD, EL NINO, LA NINA, POISONOUS ALGAE..."
THE GUESSES ARE ALWAYS SUSPICIOUSLY THE SAME, NO MATTER WHAT WATER THE WHALES ARE IN, BUT NEVER A MENTION THAT WHALES THRIVE IN BOTH TROPICAL WATERS AND ARCTIC/ANTARCTIC SEAS.
WATER TEMPERATURE FLUCTUATES CONSTANTLY ,WITH THE HUMPBACKS TRAVELING YEARLY BETWEEN THE TWO EXTREMES JUST MONTHS APART.
AND STILL NO CAUSE OF DEATH, JUST RARE STATEMENTS OF WHAT IT ISN'T.
IF THEY KNOW WHAT IT ISN'T, HOW CAN THEY NOT KNOW WHAT THE CAUSE IS?
INSTEAD, WE GET GENERALITIES, IF ANYTHING AT ALL.
"The investigation could take months or years, and could prove inconclusive: no cause has been determined in 32 of 61 documented unusual die-offs since 1991. Of the 29 for which causes were found, culprits included infections, biotoxins, human interactions and malnutrition – all signs of complex changes in the ecosystem."
WE KNOW THAT THE HUMPBACKS HAVE NOT BEEN MIGRATING AS THEY USUALLY DO, AS I WROTE BACK IN MARCH.
The normally solitary creatures have been gathering in "supergroups" since 2011 off the southwestern coast of South Africa, puzzling researchers.
Scientists recorded their presence off the African coast in October and November (late summer in South Africa) when they typically migrate to Antarctic waters to feed.
1,000 HUMPBACKS FILMED IN JUST ONE 'SUPER-GROUP' OFF AFRICA IN 2014.
WE ALSO KNOW FEWER CALVES WERE REPORTED THERE, AS WELL AS FEWER FEMALES.
IT WAS REPORTED IN SEVERAL HAWAII NEWS REPORTS AND IN AT LEAST ONE HAWAIIAN MAGAZINE, AS WELL AS IN THE PDF I LINK BELOW.
Only 8 percent of whale groups included a calf this year, compared to 33 percent in a normal year, says Chris Gabriele, a researcher with the non profit Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium. ...“the least number of mothers with babies that I have ever seen.”
IT WAS THE SAME STORY WORLDWIDE...EXCEPT SOUTH AFRICA, WHERE THOUSANDS OF WHALES HAD GATHERED AND WEREN'T LEAVING FOR YEARLY MIGRATION, BUT THEY, TOO, REPORTED FEWER FEMALES AND CALVES.
2017 IS JUST A CONTINUATION OF THE DECLINE IN POPULATION OF THE GREAT WHALES, INCLUDING HUMPBACKS, SPERM WHALE, BLUE WHALES, SEI WHALES AND OTHERS.
Whale deaths near Anchorage, Glacier Bay prompt investigation
Alaska Public Media - July 1, 2016
Researchers are trying to determine what caused the deaths of three large whales found along Alaska’s coastline within a single week in late June, and whether the fatal strandings might be related to a big spike in whale deaths in the region last year.
THEY DID A "FULL" NECROPSY ON ONE HUMPBACK AND FOUND..."The whale had diminished fat reserves, which may mean it wasn’t consuming enough food."
WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE?
IT WAS STARVING, JUST SAY IT!
NATIVE COASTAL TRIBES WHO HUNT ON THE ICE AND FISH ALL COASTAL WATERS , PACIFIC ISLANDERS AND OCEAN FISHERMEN ACROSS THE GLOBE HAVE BEEN REPORTING DIMINISHED FOOD FISH, CRUSTACEANS, AND STARVING WHALES, SEALS, SEA LIONS, POLAR BEARS, WALRUSES, SEA BIRDS, ETC, FOR DECADES, ANIMALS WITH LESIONS ON THE OUTSIDE AND TUMORS WITHIN.
FROM SEA TURTLES TO PELICANS TO THE GREAT WHALES, NOTHING IS REPRODUCING NOR BEHAVING NORMALLY.
BUT YET AGAIN, IN 2017, JUST AS IN 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, "Tissue samples from all three whales have been sent to labs for analysis, but it’s not clear when researchers will know more about how and why they died."
"NOT CLEAR WHEN..."
JUST SAY NEVER, WE'LL NEVER BE TOLD.
AND KEEP REPEATING, "NO CAUSE FOR ALARM." ALARM BE DAMNED, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP MARINE LIFE!
AND OURSELVES, BECAUSE BILLIONS DEPEND ON THE OCEANS FOR FOOD.
Unusual Mortality Event lingers along East Coast, AUG. 21, 2014.
DOLPHINS AND WHALES.
Last year, Virginia witnessed the worst mass dolphin die-off in its history as more than 300 bottlenose dolphins began stranding — about five times the annual average.That UME still hasn't officially ended.
While the number of strandings this year is nothing like 2013, the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration still considers it an open case.
According to NOAA Fisheries, from the time this latest UME began in July last year through August 17 of this year, 1,467 bottlenose dolphins have stranded themselves along nine Eastern states from New York to Florida.
This bottlenose die-off far outpaces the region's last UME of 1987-88 that claimed more than 740 dolphins. And it dwarfs the typical 295 strandings seen along the East Coast from July 1 to June 30 in an average year.
Mooney-Seus said other marine species have also tested positive or suspected positive for morbillivirus since the UME began, including three humpback whales, a fin whale, two pygmy sperm whales and a minke whale.
The UME will remain in effect, Barco said, until the region has three straight months of stranding levels at or below the average for the past five years.
Dolphin-killing virus reaches Florida, and is infecting whales, too NBCNews.com-Nov 8, 2013
Three humpback whales and two pygmy whales, stranded and decaying...
NAME THAT VIRUS!
THE ARTICLES DUBBED IT A MORBILLIVIRUS, BUT THERE ARE SEVEN DIFFERENT TYPES OF THAT SPECIES OF VIRUSES.
Biologists try to figure out Northern California whale deaths
SFGate-May 27, 2015
Twelve dead whales, including grays, a humpback and a sperm whale, have washed ashore....
Juvenile Humpback Whale Washes Up Dead on Oregon Beach
Lighthouse News Daily-Feb 2, 2016
"A juvenile humpback whale and several other marine creatures washed up dea.
A necropsy was launched on Tuesday, February 2, and so far marine biologists are at a loss trying to explain what triggered the aquatic creatures’ demise."
AND HERE COMES THE SAME OLD SAW...
"It’s unclear when the results of the necropsy will be available: once these steps are completed, the samples will be more thoroughly studied at the Portland State University."
WE'LL NEVER KNOW.
Humpback whale numbers are increasing but so are strandings
ABC Online-Sep 26, 2011
14 Humpback whales have died along Washington's coast already this season.
Mystery absence of humpback whales in Hawaii has experts concerned ...
The Guardian-Jan 2, 2016
AP, Aug 26, 2016: Experts are reporting the sighting of a sickly humpback whale off Maui. [NOAA’s] Malia Chow said Friday the animal is emaciated and covered in whale lice… She says the animal’s poor condition is a mystery.
1st January 2017 - 5 Humpback whales have washed ashore in recent weeks in Hawaii, America. The previous record [of five] whale carcasses found in Hawaii waters was in 2013. Link
Wildlife officials investigate record number of humpback whale deaths, Hawaii
Jan 18, 2017 - Wildlife officials are investigating a record number of humpback whale deaths in Hawaii this season. Six humpback whale carcasses have washed up so far...
WHAT ABOUT WHAT WE'RE ALSO TOLD, "FEW HUMPBACK FEMALES, EVEN FEWER CALVES"?
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?
Hakai Magazine, May 25, 2016:
“Something happened this year,” agrees Jim Darling, a researcher with the nonprofit Whale Trust Maui. “It almost seemed as if the females didn’t bother to show up”… the density of cows and calves was especially low… Darling also reported hearing from colleagues in the Philippines and Japan of similarly low whale numbers… Also striking was the low number of calves… Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, also saw fewer whales than normal says Oscar Frey, an oceanographer… he observed “the least number of mothers with babies that I have ever seen.”
FROM MEXICO, JANUARY 27, 2017
HUMPBACKS WASH ASHORE IN BAJA
AND BEFORE THAT, IN THE TODOS SANTOS AREA, FEBRUARY29, 2016
So far, during the season, there are 16 dead whales in that area.
AND ALSO IN MEXICO,
18th January 2016 - 7 dead whales found along the coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Link
FROM IRELAND, FEBRUARY 18, 2017
Dolphin and whale deaths rise fivefold with 56 mammals washing up on beaches.
FROM THE U.K. IN FEBRUARY, 2017
Police issue Devon humpback whale 'stay away' warning - BBC News
Feb 25, 2017 - Onlookers are urged not to get too close to a humpback whale spotted off the south Devon coastFROM ENGLAND, LAST YEAR.
Biggest rise in dolphin, porpoise and whale deaths 'since 2006'(ALSO RELATING TO SPERM WHALE)
31 March 2016
FROM SOUTH AFRICA, Dec 20, 2016
Humpback whale carcass found near Cape Town
AS FOR THE ATLANTIC DIE-OFFS, THEY'VE HAPPENED THERE BEFORE, AND IT WASN'T FROM RUN-INS WITH SHIPS.
FROM THE JOURNAL NATURE, 2012
"Whale woe in the Atlantic"
05 October 2012
Marine-mammal researchers Julie van der Hoop and Michael Moore, both at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and their colleagues, analysed all known deaths of eight species of large whale in the northwest Atlantic between 1970 and 2009.
During that time 122 right whales died, along with 473 humpbacks (Megaptera novaeangliae), 257 fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and scores of whales of other species. When the authors were able to assign a cause of death, ‘human interactions’ was the most common, appearing in 67% of cases. Entanglement in fishing gear was the main cause of death in this category.
DANGER EVERYWHERE FROM 'HUMAN ACTIVITY', AND WHAT ISN'T CLASSIFIED AS "HUMAN ACTIVITY"?
EVERYTHING HUMANS DO IS "HUMAN ACTIVITY".
Humpbacks can become entangled in fishing gear, either swimming off with the gear or becoming anchored. We have observed incidental "take" of humpback whales in the California/ Oregon swordfish and thresher shark drift gillnet fishery.
Potential entanglement from gear from several fisheries can occur on their long migration from Hawaii to Alaska.
Humpbacks in Hawaii have been observed entangled in longline gear, crab pots, and other non-fishery-related lines.
Inadvertent ship strikes can injure or kill humpbacks. We have verified mortality related to ship strikes in the Gulf of Maine and in southeastern Alaska.
Ship strikes have also been reported in Hawaii.
HOW ABOUT THIS FOR "HUMAN ACTIVITY"?
JAPAN STILL ISSUES 'PERMITS' FOR KILLING A SET OF 50 HUMPBACKS EVERY YEAR.
Japan has issued scientific permits in the Antarctic and in the western North Pacific in recent years. In 2009, the full JARPA II program commenced. Annual sample sizes for the full-scale research (lethal sampling) are set at 50 humpback whales.
WELL, JAPAN STILL ROUNDS UP AND SLAUGHTERS THOUSANDS OF DOLPHINS IN COVES EVERY YEAR, TOO.
NO NEED FOR THAT, EITHER, BUT WHO'S STOPPING THEM?
Sea of blood as Japan slaughters thousands of dolphins - Telegraph
THAT IS AN ATROCITY LIKE FEW OTHERS.
SEE ALSO Dispute Concerning Japan's JARPA II Program of “Scientific Whaling.
BUT OTHER "RESEARCH" PERMITS WERE ALSO ISSUED, NOT JUST IN JAPAN.
AFTER HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF KILLING WHALES, HAVEN'T SCIENTISTS "STUDIED" ENOUGH DEAD WHALES?
WHY KILL MORE?
AN OLD ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Between the harpoon and the whale - The New York Times
THERE ARE ONLY 14 KNOWN HUMPBACK GROUPS.
Click <here> to see the distribution of the 14 identified humpback whale distinct population segments.
THERE ARE ONLY 13 SPECIES KNOWN AS 'GREAT WHALES' OR 'LARGE CESTACEANS'.
The Great Whales
The first twelve of these are baleen (whalebone) whales, filter feeders with baleen plates instead of teeth and the sperm whale is the largest toothed whale.
Click on each link to see more detailed information on each species.
~ Bowhead (or Greenland right whale)
~ North Atlantic right whaleEubalaena glacialis
~ North Pacific right whale
~ Southern right whale
~ Gray whale
~ Blue whale
~ Fin whale
~ Sei whale
~ Bryde's whale
~ Common minke whale
~ Antarctic minke whale
~ Humpback whale
~ Sperm whale
In the summer, humpbacks are found in high latitude feeding grounds, such as the Gulf of Maine in the Atlantic and Gulf of Alaska in the Pacific.
In the winter, they migrate to calving grounds in subtropical or tropical waters, such as the Dominican Republic in the Atlantic and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific.
The Arabian Sea humpback does not migrate, remaining in tropical waters all year.
Humpback whales travel great distances during their seasonal migration, the farthest migration of any mammal.
The longest recorded migration was 11,706 miles (18,840 km), with a trek from American Samoa to the Antarctic Peninsula.
One of the more closely studied routes is between Alaska and Hawaii, where humpbacks have been observed making the 3,000 mile (4,830 km) trip in as few as 36 days.
During migration, humpbacks stay near the surface of the ocean.
While feeding and calving, humpbacks prefer shallow waters.
Humpbacks filter feed on tiny crustaceans (mostly krill), plankton, and small fish and can consume up to 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) of food per day.
Humpback feeding grounds are in cold, productive coastal waters.
Several hunting methods involve using air bubbles to herd, corral, or disorient fish.
One highly complex variant, called "bubble netting," is unique to humpbacks. This technique is often performed in groups with defined roles for distracting, scaring, and herding before whales lunge at prey corralled near the surface.
In their wintering grounds, humpback whales congregate and engage in mating activities. Humpbacks are generally "polygynous" with males exhibiting competitive behavior on wintering grounds.
Aggressive and antagonistic behaviors include chasing, vocal and bubble displays, horizontal tail thrashing, and rear body thrashing.
Males within these groups also make physical contact, striking or surfacing on top of one another. These bouts can cause injuries ranging from bloody scrapes to, in one recorded instance, death.
Also on wintering grounds, males sing complex songs that can be heard 20 miles (30 km) away.
A male may sing for hours, repeating the song several times.
All males in a population sing the same song, but that song continually evolves over time.
Humpback whale singing has been studied for decades, but scientists still understand very little about its function.
Breeding usually occurs once every two years, but sometimes occurs twice in a three year span.
Gestation lasts for about 11 months. Newborns are 13-16 feet (4-5 m) long and grow quickly from the highly nutritious milk of their mothers. Weaning occurs between 6-10 months after birth.
During calving, humpbacks are usually found in the warmest waters available at that latitude.
Calving grounds are commonly near offshore reef systems, islands, or continental shores.
Mothers are protective and affectionate towards their calves, swimming close and frequently touching them with their flippers.
Males do not provide parental support for calves.
LOOKS LIKE HUMANS AREN'T LENDING MUSH SUPPORT, EITHER.
LOOKS LIKE, LEFT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES,ALL WHALES AND OTHER MARINE LIFE CAN DO IS CONTINUE TO DIE.
WHETHER THIS IS FROM TOXINS WE'VE PUT INTO THE OCEANS, SHIPS/BOATS AND NETS KILLING THEM, VIRUSES, BACTERIA, ALGAE, RADIATION, OR THAT "GREAT GARBAGE PATCH" SWIRLING IN BOTH MAJOR OCEANS (SEE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S Huge Garbage Patch Found in Atlantic Too), WE HUMANS ARE JUST NOT CONCERNED ENOUGH TO (1) FIND OUT WHY THEY'RE DYING (NO FUNDS FOR THAT!ALLOCATED BY A CONGRESS THAT DOESN'T GIVE ONE SMALL DAMN ABOUT ECOLOGY/ENVIRONMENT) OR (2) STOP DOING WHATEVER WE'RE DOING TO CONTRIBUTE TO DEATHS.
PERISH THE THOUGHT THAT WE'D BE 'PUT OUT' BY ANYTHING RESEMBLING 'CONSERVATION EFFORTS', RIGHT?
YEAH, YEAH, HUMANS ARE THE DOMINANT SPECIES, TRUE, BUT AS THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN, SHOULDN'T WE BE LOOKING OUT FOR ALL THAT ARE "BENEATH" US?
AS THEY GO, SO GO WE.
THE OCEANS PROVIDE BILLIONS OF US WITH FOOD.
TOXINS, RADIATION, EVERYTHING BIO-ACCUMULATES AS IT MOVES UP THE FOOD CHAIN...TO US!
WHEN WE SEE STARVING MARINE CREATURES, SEE THEIR POPULATIONS' REPRODUCTION RATES TAKE A NOSE-DIVE, SEE THEM DYING IN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER YEAR AFTER DECADE, AFTER CENTURY, ONE MIGHT THINK WE'D DO SOMETHING, FIND CAUSE, AND STOP IT.
ONLY FOOLS WOULD CHOOSE TO IGNORE THIS.
ONLY DOOMED FOOLS, I MIGHT ADD.
The Earth's dying oceans threatened with mass extinction - CNBC.com
A study released earlier this year found that we may soon see a mass extinction of ocean life.
That's alarming, since oceans comprise nearly 70 percent of Earth, provide habitat for more 200,000 known species (and potentially millions more unknown ones) and are integral to all known life on our planet, as well as climate and weather patterns.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates the total value of the ocean's assets at around $24 trillion and said if the ocean were measured as an economy, it would have an annual gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion — the seventh largest economy in the world.
Here are five of the biggest challenges the world's oceans face — and how humans can tackle them.
Around 90 percent of the world's fisheries are either "fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed".
Roughly 80 percent of the pollution in the ocean comes from land, according to NOAA. Pollution from fertilizers, as well as other sources, is creating huge "dead zones" near coastal areas.
IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO FIGURE THIS OUT...NOR THE FOLLOWING...JUST COMMON SENSE WILL DO.
Acidity levels in the ocean have risen by about 30 percent since the Industrial Revolution, according to NOAA — the largest driver of change to ocean chemistry over the last 50 million years.
It has also been connected to the increase of toxic algal blooms.
4-- CORAL BLEACHING.
A LOT OF MARINE LIFE HEAVILY DEPEND ON CORAL REEFS.
This is an ecological catastrophe: Coral reefs are ecosystems that support thousands of known species of fish, invertebrates and algae, and scientists estimate there are 1-8 million more undiscovered species living around them.
They are home to one-fourth of all marine species and are crucial to many local economies — especially fishing and tourism.
An ongoing survey by insurance firm XL Catlin estimates that $30 billion, and the livelihoods of 500 million people, are at risk if the reefs continue their decline.
5-- DEPLETED MANGROVE FORESTS
Thousands of acres of mangrove forest have been cleared for the construction of pools for fish farming, especially for shrimp, according to the American Museum of Natural History. Coastal development, agriculture and even charcoal and timber harvesting are all contributing to mangrove destruction.
A 1998 report from NOAA estimated that intact mangrove forests bought far more economic value than the shrimp farms the forests are cleared for.
IT'S SIMPLE MATH.
PLUS, THOSE FORESTS ARE A BUFFER AGAINST RISING SEA LEVELS, AND THE CRIES SENT UP BY INUNDATED COASTAL CITIES IN AMERICA AND EVERY OTHER NATION ATTEST TO THOSE RISING SEA LEVELS, IT'S BEEN IN THE NEWS SINCE THE LATE 1980s.
PRETEND NOT TO SEE IT IN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND VIDEO PROOF, IT'S STILL HAPPENING.
WHAT SPECIES ARE MOST AT RISK?
DOES IT MATTER WHEN ALL ARE AT RISK?
THERE IS A "SPECIES OF CONCERN" LIST (NOT YET ON THE ENDANGERED LIST) DETAILING SPECIES NOAA CONSIDERS MOST AT RISK <HERE>.
Endangered and Threatened Marine Species Lists
~ Marine Mammals (31 listed species)
13 OF THESE ARE WHALES.
8 ARE SEALS.
[NOTE:Manatees and sea otters are also listed under the ESA, but fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.]
~ Sea Turtles & Other Marine Reptiles (26 listed species)
Marine Invertebrates (27 listed species)
~ Fish (Marine & Anadromous) Including sharks (66 listed species)
~ Marine Plants (1 listed)