As we know that the Whales are considered as guardians of oceans. They are treated as a symbol of wisdom and spirituality. These animals or mammals are highly respected and also maintain the balance in the oceans or seas.
We people used to believe that whales are invincible but today we see that they are just like many other aquatic animals struggling to live/survive. Aquatic animals play a very crucial role in the stability of marine life. Strong ecosystems rely on maintaining a healthy and diverse assemblage of plants and animals.
They check the population of the marine ecosystem and make habitats for other aquatic mammals/animals. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of the United States of America deals with the protection and surveillance of these marine animals. The Top 5 Endangered Aquatic Creatures that are needed to know to protect within perfect time, otherwise the marine biodiversity maybe harm hardly.
Being having these protection agencies and acts, there is a lot of marine animals that are currently endangered due to various biological and man-made factors such as the ruthless behaviour of fishermen and loss of habitat. These species involves seals, porpoises, whales etc.
Here are the Top 5 Endangered Aquatic Creatures;
1. Australian Sea Lion;
The Australian Sea Lion is the Earned Seal family. They propel themselves through the water using their front flippers and have the ability to walk on the ground with the help of all four flippers. These Sea Lions are socially active and gather in groups to sunbath, rest on rocks and beaches.
The Australian Sea Lion is one of the rarest seal animals in the whole world. Only 11,000 to 13,000 remain in the world. Hunting decimated their population in the 18th and 19th centuries and they have been slow to recover.
The Male Sea Lion is called as bulls and the female Sea Lions are called Cows.
Bulls are darker and larger than Cows and having weight more than 350 kg. They can survive on the earth for almost 26 years, means it takes a while for them to reach maturity when they annually have their young ones.
About 82% of the world’s Australian Sea Lion population occurs in SA. These Species travel large distances in search of food but come back to the same places to take rest. Sea Lions are protected by Australian Water, but there are still various threats for their survival. These Sea Lions are killed illegally and accidentally. They die from diseases linked to parasites, are eaten by sharks, habitat destruction and clearance on coasts.
2. Hector’s Dolphin;
Hector’s Dolphin found in the water near northern New Zealand with Akaroa and Banks Peninsula hosting the highest population in one location and is considered to be the smallest aquatic dolphin in the world. These are endangered due to the threats of human activities.
A Sub Species of the hector’s Dolphin called the Maui Dolphin, which is found in the North Island. These Dolphins are differentiable from other Dolphins which are in shaped like a Mickey mouse ear. The body of these dolphins is grey in colour, with white and black marks.
These are endangered and having a population is around 11,000. They can survive on earth up to the age of 25 years. An average adult dolphin can reach up to 1.5 metres in length and weigh between 50-55 kg. The males are slightly smaller and lighter than females.
At birth, these dolphin’s young ones have a total length of at least 70-78 cm and having weight 10 kg or more. Hector’s dolphins are not too fussy regarding the meal and hunt more to the size of the prey rather than actual species. They make short dives to find out the meal such as red cod, crabs, kahawai, flounder etc.
3. Sea Otter;
The Sea Otter is the smallest marine animal/mammal and is considered as a cutest with its gentle behaviour and expressions. It has at least 1 million hair per square inch of its skin and having a dense fur. The Sea Otter belongs to the weasel family and is considered as the largest member.
The baby Sea Otters are also called pups, are only 12 inches in length when they born. Adult males can grow up to 5 feet and has a weight up to 95 pounds in Alaska and occasionally reach 82 pounds in California. While on the other side, females are generally smaller.
They are found in the region of Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia and the United States of America. These mammals live in coastal areas with shallow water. They find their meal on the ocean floor and carry out all other activities, such as eating and grooming at the surface.
Sea Otters are very socially active mammals and float in single-sex rafts, which can be formed of anywhere between 20 – 100 individuals. They are considered as a key player in the health of the kelp forests they inhabit. They prey on animals that graze on kelp stalks, such as sea urchins.
Sea Otters usually face various threats, though thankfully overhunting for the fur trade is no longer one of them. Pollution is a major contributor to Sea Otter deaths, with oil spills affecting their ability to insulate themselves, and runoff from the land that contains chemicals and diseases causing organisms.
4. Blue Whale;
The Blue Whale can be seen in oceans throughout the globe due to its long migratory patterns. It is the largest mammal on the earth and falls into the category of endangered species. Although their hunting has been banned since 1966, still they are hunted by the people and comes under endangered mammals.
According to the researchers, the population of the blue whale ranges from 15,000 to 26,000. While this might seem like a lot, in fact, it is only a fraction of their population size as it was at the beginning of the 20th century.
Blue Whales can not breathe underwater and have to come to the top of the water to breathe air. Blue whales eat enormous amounts of krill, a tiny animal similar to shrimp. These mammals live in colder waters during the summer and swim to warmer waters in the winter.
Blue whales tend to be more solitary than other whale species. They can, however, sometimes see them together in small groups of two to five persons. They cruise the ocean at about 30 miles per hour. Their vocalizations are thought to be used as communication as well as sonar navigation. These whales are listed endangered and were once abundant but advance in whaling technology made it easier for people to hunt them.
Being bigger in size, blue whales are also one of the loudest animals on earth. Their songs can reach nearly 250 decibels i.e louder than a jet engine sound.
The Vaquita is also known as ” Little Cow ” is an aquatic species lie to the northern end of the Gulf of California. It is having a length ranges from 160 cm or 150 cm with 45 kg ( Adult ) in weight. It is considered as the smallest of all living oceanic mammals.
The Scientific name of Vaquita is “ Phocoena Sinus “. They are the rarest sea mammal in existence and are likened to porpoises and often confused with dolphins, but they are smaller, have a chunkier body and have a rounded head with no snout.
They have a dark grey upper body which fades into a pale grey belly. They have striking faces with thick dark colouring around their eyes and on their lips giving the appearance, they are adopting the makeup.
In order to protect the vaquita, the Mexican government established a vaquita refuge in the core part of vaquita range in the northern gulf of California and banned gillnets in the refuge starting in 2015. there are laws on the books, but there is no serious protection.
Human Activities that are Threats for Aquatic Animals;
- Excessive Garbage is thrown into Oceans and Seas that harm the marine ecosystem.
- Continuous Defence Trials led by the Armed Forces, which destroy a lot of mammals and animals in the water.
The production of fishes was initially depended on the capture fishery under particular aquatic resources. However, fishery capture cannot be predicted to be a protein donar. A substantial place of the aquatic catch is utilised for developing industrial materials which are not consumed by man directly.
So, a viable option by which the production of fish could be increased with the help of biotechnique, and is called as AQUACULTURE. It is defined as ” the husbandry and farming of economically important marine animals and plants under controlled conditions “.
The word ‘ AQUACULTURE ‘ though over a decade is widely used and is still having misconceptions as per many users.
- The marine atmosphere, where the culture is done such as brackish water, freshwater or saltwater.
- A particular parameter of the environment used for culture, such as warm water aquaculture. Although aquaculture is the branch of science based on fisheries, still there is a capacity to donate the distinction between these two, due to some of the important differences in development and management.
Important Features of Aquaculture;
1. Integrated Farming;
Aquaculture in collaboration with agriculture, animal husbandry or horticulture is found to be more valuable and profitable.
2. Rural Development;
Aquaculture helps to combine rural development via generating employment opportunities and would thus help to arrest the exodus of population from rural to urban areas.
3. High Productivity;
Aquaculture has been found to be more productive as compared to agriculture or veterinary practices.
4. Earning Foreign Exchange;
The important commercial items like lobsters, Artemia cysts, frog legs etc, produced with the help of aquaculture and are highly valued, which can earn foreign exchange.
The above species that we have explained are endangered aquatic biological creatures which are somewhere harm by the people themselves. We should follow the rules and regulations of the Acts led by the govt. so that we will give life to marine mammals.