illegal and unsustainable fishing, fossil fuel exploration, climate crisis According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), diseases and illnesses are bringing sea creatures to the brink of extinction. red platewith populations of dugong, abalone shellfish and columnar coral at risk of extinction forever.
Marine life is facing a “perfect storm” of excessive human consumption that threatens the survival of some of the world’s most expensive seafood, according to the conservation agency, which publishes the most up-to-date information on the health of wildlife populations around the world.
From South Africa to Australia, 20 of the world’s 54 abalone species are now 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 largely on seagrass, are endangered by oil and gas exploration, bottom trawling, chemical pollution and mining.
The information comes as countries are negotiating this decade’s biodiversity goals to protect the planet. police15with draft proposals to take radical measures against species extinction this decade.
“Today’s IUCN red list update reveals a smashing storm of unsustainable human activities that are destroying marine life around the world. IUCN director-general Dr Bruno Oberle said: “As the world looks to the ongoing UN biodiversity conference to determine the course to improve nature, we certainly cannot afford to fail. “We must urgently address the climate and biodiversity crises associated with profound changes in our economic systems, or we risk losing the important benefits that the oceans provide us.”
At risk is the endangered Omani abalone, found in the Arabian peninsula, which has lost more than half of its range due to pollution from agricultural and industrial runoff causing harmful algal blooms. On South Africa’s west coast, poaching by criminal networks, most of them linked to the international drug trade, has devastated perlemoen abalone populations.
In the western Indian ocean, fewer than 250 mature dugongs remain, with less than 900 in New Caledonia.
“Strengthening community-led fisheries governance and expanding business opportunities beyond fishing is key in east Africa, where marine ecosystems are fundamental to people’s food security and livelihoods,” said Evan Trotzuk, who leads the red list assessment of East African mammals.
“Furthermore, the creation of additional protected areas inhabited by dugongs, particularly around the Bazaruto Archipelago national park. [in Mozambique]It will also empower local communities and other stakeholders to find, implement and exploit solutions that halt long-term declines in dugong abundance as well as seagrass coverage and quality.”
Found from the Caribbean to the Yucatan peninsula, columnar coral was also part of the latest round of IUCN red list assessments, and since 1990 its population has moved from vulnerable to critically endangered after its population has shrunk more than 80% throughout its range. The cause of the fall is illness, bleaching from the climate crisis and fertilizer runoff.
There are 150,388 species evaluated 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 extinction forever, with global warming affecting at least 41% of threatened marine species.
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