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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

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Our Victories

  • August 12, 2014

    Gov. Cuomo Signs New York Ivory, Rhino Horn Ban

    HSUS New York state director Brian Shapiro praises Gov. Cuomo and state legislators for banning elephant ivory and rhino horn in the state.

  • June 26, 2014

    House Resolution in Support of Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers Praised

    The Humane Society of the United States praised the introduction of a Congressional resolution recognizing the important role experienced and accredited wildlife rehabilitation centers play in caring for native wildlife in communities across the country.

  • March 31, 2014

    Top UN Court Orders Japan to End Antarctic Whaling

    Statement on the ruling of the International Court of Justice that Japan’s whaling program is a breach of the global whaling moratorium and lacks scientific legitimacy in regard to the quotas set and the numbers taken.

  • February 14, 2014

    On Heels of Major Criminal Bust, Shark Fin Distributors Drop Lawsuit

    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.

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