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Threatened Species Day: Sea Shepherd’s Fight to Protect Marine Wildlife

The Sea Shepherd movement sees the key threats to the oceans as illegal fishing, ocean plastics, climate change and threats to vulnerable, threatened and endangered species. Today on 7th September, Threatened Species Day highlights the sad reality that humankind is threatening and destroying many of our precious marine species.

Turtles, whales, sharks, sea lions and even plankton are all at risk. We're currently in the midst of a biodiversity crisis and action needs to be taken urgently.

Each species plays their part in keeping our planet healthy due to the three laws of ecology; the most sacred of all laws that are key to the survival of biodiversity on the planet, and therefore, also critical to the survival of the human species. No species can survive outside of these three ecological laws:

1. The law of diversity:

The strength of an eco-system is dependent upon the diversity of species within it.

2. The law of interdependence:

All species are interdependent on each other.

3. The law of finite resources:

There are limits to growth and limits to carrying capacity.

As we lose species, not only have we lost something so beautiful, so unique, so remarkable, a life, an individuality, a culture– we also break the laws of diversity and interdependence. This weakens the strength of an ecosystem and has flow-on impacts to all other species within it.

Threatened Species Day turtle 1200 x 630

A classic example of this is the wolves in Yellowstone. That ecosystem had collapsed, until the wolves were re-introduced, causing a trophic cascade of ecological change, helping to increase beaver populations, bring back aspen and vegetation. The beaver dams had multiple effects on stream hydrology, provided cold and shaded water for fish. The more robust willow stands provided habitat for songbirds. If we had no wolves to re-introduce, there would be no Yellowstone as we know it today. You can learn more about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone here.

Sea Shepherd takes the protection of threatened, vulnerable and endangered species very seriously. Over the past 43 years, we have made many stands for marine animals on the frontline.

Managing Director, Jeff Hansen notes, "In 2020, it’s hard to believe that we still have to bang on about the importance of the natural world; the importance of biodiversity."

The fact that we even need a Threatened Species Day may seem inconceivable, however, the sad reality is that humankind is threatening and destroying species every single day. What needs to change is that we all redevelop the love of the natural world and that we understand the priceless ecological importance of nature. 

The oceans, sharks, forests, plankton, beavers, whales and even the ants, maintain the life support systems of our planet. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and our liveable climate, all comes from nature. With every single species we lose, forest we cut down or marine ecosystem we pollute, we further weaken the life support systems that make it possible for us to live here.

Threatened Species Day Oceans 1200 x 630

It’s time we get our priorities right by putting a halt to species loss. Putting nature first is actually putting a real future for humanity first. For all the cures in the world for people will be for nothing if we don’t look after the life support systems of the planet.

On this Threatened Species Day, we ask you all to join the fight. We all need to be defenders of nature and shepherds of the sea, for if we continue to lose these battles to save biodiversity, we all lose. Join us in making a stand today, and every day after.

How can you make a stand?


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