Marine Mammal Threats

threats

Background

Many marine mammal populations are decreasing to critical levels largely due to human actions including; accidental capture in fishing gear (entanglement and bycatch), habitat destruction, pollution, commercial hunting, increase in ocean noise, increase in vessel traffic, and ship strikes. In addition, climate change is having an impact as prey moves, habitat changes, sea ice decreases, sea levels rise, etc. Scientists are looking at the complex relationship between all these factors to see what changes can be made to help marine mammal populations recover.

In this lesson, students will learn about ship strikes, marine debris, entanglement, and the various ways marine mammals are impacted by human activities. They will explore how pollution can impact a marine mammal's ability to locate food and they will identify animals that have been threatened in various ways. They will discuss how humans impact the marine environment and marine mammals and what they can do to make a difference.

This lesson is currently under construction. Please stay tuned.

Additional Resources

NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center

This program is a collaboration between the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Woods Hole Sea Grant.

Scientist Spotlight