World Wildlife Day. Seas and oceans

Światowy Dzień Dzikiej Przyrody

Every year, World Wildlife Day is celebrated in early March. Announced in December 2013. by the UN is aimed at a more widespread appreciation of the unique role of wildlife in our lives. This year, March 3 will be held under the theme, Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation. And since 70 percent. of our planet’s surface is occupied by seas and oceans, let’s check how this issue looks in the context of water matters.

What is World Wildlife Day?

World Wildlife Day reminds people of their bond with nature. It should also inspire further learning and responsible action to protect plants and animals for the rest of the year. The day commemorates the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.

The Washington CITES Convention has been signed by 183 countries and the European Union. It listed nearly 41,000. species of wild animals and plants whose usefulness for their needs, such as in agriculture or industry, has been discovered by people around the world. They serve us, for example, in the production of food, medicines, furniture, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics, clothing or accessories.

The goal of CITES is to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. It should also contribute to the livelihoods of communities living close to wildlife and support their countries’ economies. The list of monitored species included. sharks such as the giant (Cetorhinus maximus) and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), manta rays and stingrays of the subclass Elasmobranchii, or the snail Wingshark(Strombus gigas), a resident of the Caribbean Sea, or more precisely, its beautiful shell.

Seas and oceans

This year’s World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to highlight the importance of digital innovation in marine conservation. Martha Rojas Urrego, executive secretary of the International Whaling Commission, mentions that many whale species are found in remote, inaccessible regions. Extreme cold and rough seas make it difficult to conduct research there from a ship or plane. Thanks to developing technology, scientists can do this remotely, from behind their own desks. They conduct population assessments using satellites that literally count whales from space.

Meanwhile, drones can be used to obtain genetic information and perform body condition assessments on individual animals. In the event that the sea strikes a whale in a more desolate area, relevant response teams can share images and receive real-time advice from experts thousands of kilometers away.

Specialists also have mapping tools that track the presence of chemical pollutants in the oceans and identify hotspots of collisions, merging points of shipping lanes and whale populations. To avoid accidents, the apps alert ships to the presence of whales in specific regions. Units can also be equipped with thermal imaging cameras or acoustic monitors to detect individual animals. Acoustic transmitters, on the other hand, keep cetaceans away from fishing nets to reduce bycatch.

Threats to wildlife in the seas

On the other hand, new technologies are unfortunately also available to fishing vessels that are thinning marine animal populations. Using precision electronic tools, they track, for example, entire schools to harvest huge quantities of fish. This leads to overfishing, which is the overexploitation of harvested species that brings their numbers below safe levels, thereby making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for populations to recover.

Bottom trawling also aggravates the situation. Large fishing vessels pull behind them laden nets that scrape animals from the seabed and destroy the flora in the path of their activities. Many marine animals are also killed or injured by bycatch. This is about species that accidentally get entangled in the network. Dolphins, turtles and birds often become such victims.

The world’s largest mammals, whales, also face threats. In addition to whaling, climate change, overfishing or sonar noise are dangerous to them. Not to mention the pollution discharged into marine waters. One example is plastic, which gets broken down in the sea. Because animals mistake it for food, it becomes the cause of death for many of them. World Wildlife Day reminds us of the importance of taking action to protect the world and that humans are the key factor.

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