• Question: In your opinion what is the most effective strategies for preserving endangered marine species

    Asked by nans495bay on 8 Nov 2023.
    • Photo: Karen Edwards

      Karen Edwards answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      That is a very difficult question and in part depends on why they are endangered. Probably the best strategy would be to limit fishing either in certain areas or at certain times of year. Also, improving fishing methods or gear and to require fishers to keep better track of and remove their unwanted fishing nets.

    • Photo: Jade Roberts

      Jade Roberts answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      Endangered species often have rules surrounding them. For example there are many protected areas globally where marine species are not allowed to be captured or caught, or rules on what to do if you accidentally capture something. If an endangered species habitat is close by to local communities, often they will be taught what to do and what not to do – for example whether to aid or leave an animal alone if you see it, how to judge whether an animal needs help.
      Taking your rubbish home or joining in with local litter picking all helps towards keeping an environment clean which can in turn help preserve endangered species (and regular species too!)

    • Photo: Benedikte Ranum

      Benedikte Ranum answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      With so many species endangered or at risk, it’s a complex challenge. But one of the more simple answers, I think, is knowledge and communication. The more people know about endangered creatures and what they need to thrive, the more we can all contribute to protecting them and their habitats. So even looking at information from the World Wildlife Fund or watching series like Planet Earth is a start.

    • Photo: Jack Whittle

      Jack Whittle answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      An important strategy is education/spreading knowledge about endangered marine life. One big problem marine species and marine habitats face is the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue. People can notice things like deforestation for example much more easily than say reductions in fish populations, because most people never see the fish in the first place. So, education and raising awareness is one big element of it. Another I think is putting the importance of these species into terms that governments statutory bodies can understand, which most often is money. You need to be able to translate all the different goods/services that a species provides (ecological benefits, social benefits i.e. people enjoy seeing cool animals) and putting a ‘value’ on that, because that’s typically what gets the attention of the people who can make a real difference in law. A species of benthic worm might not get any attention no matter how endangered it is, but if you can show that it is a keystone species for this habitat which supports this fishery which is worth £ X million, all of a sudden it’s a very important worm.

    • Photo: Amina Moss

      Amina Moss answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      Protecting endangered marine species is all about teamwork. We create safe underwater neighbourhoods (Marine Protected Areas), reduce pollution, and teach people about the importance of ocean conservation. It’s like giving our underwater friends a cosy home, cleaner streets, and lots of love and care! 💙 It’s not easy, and lots of persons are doing their best.

    • Photo: Ambre Chapuis

      Ambre Chapuis answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      In line with the other answers, this is a very complex issue. Many different vertebrate and invertebrate species are endangered for different reasons. Overfishing of economically desired species is one, and the non-specific methods resulting in bycatch is another pressure. The change of predator and prey species can add another level of pressure, by forcing a shift in predator behavior to feed on other species. Pollution of the environment can add pressure on the hormonal balance of many marine organisms, resulting in reduced offspring. Depending on the pressure on which species, different approaches need to be undertaken. Improving capturing methods, better controlling of bycatches or overfishing, and improving the water quality globally by reducing macro-pollution (plastic bags, waste etc) and chemical pollution (persistent organic pollutants, artificial softeners, medical effluent from water treatment plants) is a good step forward to ensure marine animals can prosper.

    • Photo: Jonathan Teague

      Jonathan Teague answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      Effective management, what I mean by this is if the species is endangered because it is being overfished then introduce areas where fishing is not permitted (no take zones). A lot of the strategies are effectively learning how humans and the oceans can interact in a way that works for both sides.

    • Photo: Tanya Riley

      Tanya Riley answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      Effective conservation is a complex issue and one solution may not benefit all species. However, a common strategy that I find hugely beneficial is sharing knowledge and educating the local communities. TV programmes like Planet Earth and Blue Planet have had huge success in the past by showcasing the issues facing marine species and these have often led to huge changes, such as reducing the impact of plastic straws and bags. So sharing knowledge is a key strategy that I use in my research.

    • Photo: Anton Edwards

      Anton Edwards answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      When I was a young scientist in the 1960s and 1970s it was not generally allowed to visit the Galapagos Islands where many rare species live. That was the best strategy to preserve them – stay away.

      I feel sad because now, anyone with enough money can go there. So the species are disturbed, they do not feed as well, they do not reproduce as well, they may even be accidentally killed.

    • Photo: Constance Schere

      Constance Schere answered on 8 Nov 2023:

      Political will and legal enforcement with penalties for those who (voluntarily or not) destroy endangered marine wildlife are key. Awareness about why these species are endangered is also key, so educating local communities is important.

    • Photo: Cristina Steliana Mihailovici

      Cristina Steliana Mihailovici answered on 9 Nov 2023:

      Exploring their habitats and support them with policies to protect them, specially in critical periods of time, and different seasons, depending of the species.
      Protecting water quality and marine environment are key to protect endangered marine species.

    • Photo: Wasseem Emam

      Wasseem Emam answered on 9 Nov 2023:

      Depends on the species and their biology, especially their habitat distribution. If they are fairly sedentary species like sea urchins or mussels, strategies like marine protected areas can be effective. However, designing a suitable strategy requires detailed knowledge of the species’ life history.

    • Photo: Camilla Cassidy

      Camilla Cassidy answered on 9 Nov 2023:

      I think it’s important that the people local to the animals, who have the greatest impact on their wellbeing, have all the information they need as well as the power and resources to protect species. For example, many people fish for sharks around the world to catch them just for their fins, which people used to believe had special or magical properties. The people who catch these sharks maybe don’t want to – perhaps they’d rather catch regular fish, or do other jobs – but shark catching might be the only job that earns them enough money to live. Telling them not to catch the sharks isn’t helpful – the most important thing there would be changing the system so that they have other job opportunities.

    • Photo: Anuschka Miller

      Anuschka Miller answered on 24 Nov 2023:

      To preserve marine species we need to understand what they need to be healthy. As we still know little about most marine organisms, that requires a lot of research.

      After that it gets tricky because you cannot manage the marine animals, habitats or ecosystems. Instead, you have to manage the behaviour of people that cause the problems.

      To manage people usually needs laws or agreements. The people then have to be made to abide by the rules.

      Finally you need to check if the measures are actually working and improve your measures.

    • Photo: Jake Norton

      Jake Norton answered on 30 Nov 2023:

      Great question! There are so many factors at play but the overarching theme, in my opinion, is educating people and controlling human behaviour through laws, quotas, regulations ect… In most cases if animals are left alone their populations will recover…they key is getting humans to leave them alone, which is a lot harder than it sounds!