Countless species get affected by human hazards every day. It includes plastic pollution, oil spills, and global warming as the top three causes of oceanic species suffering. Even though these acts are done knowingly, and people are aware of the harm inflicted on the ocean and its species, they still do it.

There are legal activities that harm the ocean and its species, and then there are illegal activities. It’s strange to think that species are harmed daily and that it is usually left unaddressed. Even though oil spills, for instance, occurs ever so often, there are still consequences for harming the environment.

Today, people are becoming more aware of what is harmful to oceanic species and how to counteract it as much as possible. As for illegal activities, luckily is something that is starting to get more and more addressed and can have serious consequences. It includes polluting, poaching, breaking fishing laws, and ignoring the laws that protect marine-protected areas. Since actions like these destroy marine habitats, they result in prosecution.

Species Struggling to Survive Because of Illegal Activity

  1. Sea turtles – These incredibly majestic oceanic creatures have most certainly received the short end of the stick. They are often caught in fishnets or illegally fished for Asian countries. The trade of these species, including their parts, is prohibited under the international treaty, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  2. Sharks – It’s impossible to believe that a predator like a shark gets fished, but it happens more than you think – every day for that matter. Although decreasing shark populations doesn’t seem like something humans should be worried, about, it’s the opposite. We should. Although shark fishing is illegal worldwide, there is still an ongoing illegal trade for shark fins that authorities are struggling to get under control.
  3. Whales – Commercial whaling has been banned worldwide, yet there are countries like Japan and Iceland that continue to hunt them, along with porpoises and dolphins. These mammals get caught in fishing nets used as bycatch, which significantly harms them. They are used for their meat, oil, and fat.
  4. Corals – Illegal fishing methods that make use of cyanide and dynamite are responsible for destroying coral reefs. Since these significant habitats are sensitive to pollution, waste dumping, and oil spills, they often get smothered or poisoned, posing a great threat to fish and plant species worldwide.