Last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico brought a renewed focus to an often ignored issue: degradation of our oceans. Liquid, solid, and acoustic pollution have devastating effects on marine habitats. The consequences—from entanglement in discarded fishing lines to disorientation from naval sonar—can be deadly.
Pollution poses a threat to marine life in many forms. Plastics such as six-pack rings tangle around the snouts and necks of sea lions, making it hard to breathe or eat. Fishing lines wrap around whales and dolphins, slicing off flukes and fins.
Oil, PCBs, and other chemicals can poison animals and kill plant life vital to some species’ survival. Oil spills destroyed acres of sea-grass beds essential to dugong survival in the Persian Gulf after Operation Desert Storm.
And scientists believe naval sonar has caused mass strandings of dolphins and whales.
The HSUS works on many fronts to make the oceans safer homes for marine life.
News & Events
November 13, 2012
Follow champion surfer Dave Rastovich's fight to protect whales, dolphins, and other marine life in the documentary, "Minds in the Water."
March 16, 2012
In recognition of our work to protect marine life, Buffalo Exchange pledged all proceeds from the sale of items priced at one dollar during Buffalo Exchange’s Dollar Day Sale on Saturday, April 21, 2012, as donations to HSI and The HSUS.
January 3, 2011
Commercial collectors remove millions of fish from coral reefs. The HSUS and HSI are targeting a global trade that lays waste to these fragile ecosystems.
October 5, 2010
The HSUS asked the National Marine Fisheries Service to deny a permit for construction of a controversial bridge across the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet in Alaska because its construction will disrupt the only habitat for the federally endangered Cook Inlet beluga whale.
February 14, 2014
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently seized 2,000 pounds of illegal shark fins from a San Francisco merchant. That merchant is a part of an association whose members sold and distributed shark fins to restaurants and grocery stores and who had sued the State of California challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on the sale and trade of shark fins. In the wake of this major bust, the association has voluntarily dismissed its legal challenge.
January 6, 2014
China, the world’s largest market for ivory products, destroyed 6.1 tons of its confiscated stockpile. The momentous event occurred in Guangzhou, a southern port city and main transit and destination point in the global ivory trade.
September 13, 2013
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service immediately listed the southern white rhino as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, giving the species greater protection from poaching. With two or three rhinos poached every day for their horns, conservationists believe that within a few years’ time, there will be no more rhinos in the wild in Africa.
August 27, 2013
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision to keep in place California’s law that bans the sale, trade and possession of shark fins in the state.