Earth is still the only place we humans have confirmed as supporting life. Of the millions of species on our planet, the oceans contain several million, many as yet undiscovered.
Despite Earth’s surface being 70% covered by water, the oceans are the most unexplored parts of it. Yet oceans are massively important to climate and to the health and wellbeing of so many forms of life. Marine ecosystems have a very delicate balance but they are being disrupted by many influences. Thus the list of endangered marine species is ever growing. Without the help of those on land, some beloved creatures of the sea don’t stand much of a chance.
The Mermaid Connection
The sea has always been a source of great mystery and awe for humans. Stories, legends and myths have risen from the watery depths over thousands of years. Some have been about terrifying monsters, ghost ships, deities, spirits, and of course mermaids.
All of these stories – true or otherwise – convey one simple message: respect the ocean and all that is in it. Mermaids represent an integral part of that message and you will find that mermaid enthusiasts are also keen marine conservationists. Mermaids through history have commanded awe and reverence, which extends to the waters from which they came and the other forms of life within. Woe has befallen all those who have not shown respect, and that applies today as the loss of endangered marine species will bring problems for all of us.
Manatee – the Mistaken Mermaid
On a voyage through the Caribbean, Columbus saw manatees and thought they were mermaids. There are several varieties of this gentle giant. Officially, the West Indian manatee (of which the Florida manatee is a sub-species) has moved from endangered to threatened, but environmental groups believe this ‘upgrade’ is premature and misguided. Either designation is not good. This beautiful creature faces threats from traffic in its habitat, fishing, unsafe boating practices, toxic environmental runoff, and illegal hunting.
Hawksbill Turtle – Critically Endangered
Sadly, this turtle’s protective shell can do little to keep it safe from those putting it in dire jeopardy. Found in the tropical regions of the world, the Hawksbill turtle has seen a population decline of nearly 80 percent over the last century, largely due to poaching for its meat and shells.
Steller Sea Lion
Many mermaid myths were birthed from the sight of creatures like seals and sea lions. If only mermaids could look after the Steller Sea Lion because its population has declined more than 60 percent.
Massive yet graceful, intimidating yet passive, humpback whales have a rich history that is intertwined in many ancient cultures. When they talk to each other, their songs are gorgeously enchanting. However, due to human greed and ignorance, entanglement in fishing nets, and marine pollution, humpback numbers have dropped terribly. While it has been announced that several humpback populations are no longer endangered, this serves as an invitation to poachers.
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark
Undoubtedly one the odder looking creatures in our oceans, the Scalloped Hammerhead shark is in danger as it is hunted and killed for its prized fins. Although many nations across the globe are making efforts to abolish the use of shark fins, it is still happening – illegally.
Sadly, there are so many more endangered and threatened marine species. It is up to all humans to show greater respect, spread education, and implement practices that will protect our oceans and the creatures therein. We at Mermaids of Earth are proud to support marine life in all forms and promote people and groups that raise awareness and take positive action. Please join us in this quest.
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