We are working to protect whales and dolphins in the Coral Triangle (flagship species are blue and sperm whales), and to include their vital deep-sea and oceanic habitats within Marine Protected Areas.
Throughout the waters of the Coral Triangle, there are several current and emerging threats to deep-water habitats and oceanic species including:
1. Increasing fishing pressure (i.e. targeting seamounts and upwelling zones);
2. Over-exploitation of oceanic marine life and their prey species;
3. Fisheries interactions (e.g. net entanglement and by-catch);
4. Accidental ingestion of marine debris (plastic trash) concentrated in areas of increased ocean productivity (and thus in important habitats for oceanic marine life);
5. Long-term pollution of habitats (eco-toxicological impacts)
6. Ship strikes (i.e. for whale sharks and large cetaceans, as major sea-lanes overlap with migratory corridors and other critical habitats);
7. Acoustic habitat degradation from ocean noise (shipping, seismic surveys, offshore energy);
8. Deep-sea mining (a new ocean industry that is spearheaded in the CT);
9. Impacts of climate change.
The overlap between the activities of various ocean industries and areas of importance for ocean conservation is increasing year-on-year. Hence, to minimize conflicting interests between all ocean stakeholders there is now a pressing need for improved management and conservation of these sensitive marine habitats and species.
Your support is crucial to protect the critical whale habitats in this region, such as migration corridors and mating areas for blue whales!