From sea otters to manatees to river dolphins, sea animals all over the world can’t seem to escape the harm caused by humanity. Pollution has shrunk their habitats, taken away their resources and food. Litter has strangled them, choked them to death. Hunting has left them dead for their shells and their meat. With some animals even dying from run-ins with fishing boats and motors, where can they even go to be safe?
The oceans used to be a safe haven for some of earth’s most majestic creatures. Now the ocean is almost like a trap, with humans closing in from every direction. The Abyssian Court is doing all they can to keep humanity at bay. But there’s only so much they can do. They need your help.
It’s time to defend earth’s creatures.
D.R.I. often has defenders watch the coasts, keeping an eye on the activity of the Atlanteans. Doug, after stopping to sign some autographs, made his way down to the shores during his shift and immediately saw some movement. His hand went immediately to the weapon on his belt, his other hand ready to call in other defenders. But he soon realized it was just a dolphin-like creature and laughed it off. Time to take some selfies with tourists.
Little did Doug know, he had just seen one of the last remaining vaquita in the world struggling to escape an abandoned fishing net.
In April of 2021, it was estimated that there was fewer than 10 vaquita left, down from the 30 vaquitas roaming the oceans in 2019.
This small, vibrant species of porpoise has dark markings on its face and a chunky body. They live in the Gulf of California, usually in shallow waters. They are often close to the shore. This has made the vaquita very vulnerable to fishing net, which kills up to 15% of them every year.
According to World Wildlife, fishing gear makes up about 10% of debris, meaning there are up to 10 million tons of fishing gear discarded into the ocean each year. This includes nets, lines, and ropes, which make up about 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Reports by the Food & Agricultural Organization found that fishing nets will remain in the marine ecosystem for hundreds of years, resulting in the deaths of dolphins, turtles, and other animals caught within them during that time.
One of Hanuii’s pastimes is swimming alongside the marine life she’s grown to love and respect. The whale shark is one of her favorites, growing up to 60 feet long over the course of 130 years. That’s given Hanuii enough time to really know each whale shark individually, able to tell them apart by their behavior, polka-dot markings, and even their scars.
Whale sharks are gentle creatures that mainly feed on plankton. But their docile behavior has made them easy targets. Over the last 75 years, the number of these giant fish has been cut in half, putting them on the Red List of Threatened Species.
The disappearance of whale sharks is mostly due to commercial fishing and illegal poaching. In China, this large fish species is in high demand for its meat, fins, and oil, which are sold for food. Their skin is often used to make bags.
It’s estimated that 6,000 to 8,000 whale sharks are murdered every year. While some escape, this is a terrifying fate for this gentle being. And Hanuii is reminded of this every time she sees a whale shark swim by her with scars down its body.
Hawksbill sea turtle
This beautiful sea turtle is known for their stunning shells, which have a gold and brown pattern. While hanging out with his surf buddies the other day, Jayden saw one of the shells hanging on the wall of a surfing shop.
What a neat decoration, he thought at the time.
Little did he know that there are only 8,000 Hawksbill sea turtles left (and only 1,000 nesting females). And little did he know it was because of people hunting them for their shells.
The Hawksbill sea turtle has become one of the most endangered species of turtles in the world due to people hunting them for their shells. These shells are sold illegally to create jewelry and other ornamental products.
While some are protected in the Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge in Costa Rica, the Hawksbill sea turtle is often hunted around Australia. In the past, hunting for the turtle’s shell almost caused this species to go extinct. And for what? A wall ornament that someone briefly looks at and then forgets about?
Blue whale and North Atlantic right whale
Despite the laboratory being a punishment initially, Crato has grown to love his new role as one of the Atlantean’s top creature creators. He has created and trained numerous sea monsters to aid Atlanteans in battle. But even working with all these creatures daily never prepares Crato for the rare times he spots a whale swimming by.
Blue whales are an incredible 110 feet, making them the biggest animal to have ever roamed the earth. Crato has been around for a while and never seen a creature as immense or awe-inspiring. But he’s also seen their population dwindle drastically every year.
Maybe he can think of some way to help them. But he can’t do it alone.
Many whale species are endangered, including the blue whale. There are currently about 5,000 to 10,000 blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere and only 3,000 to 4,000 in the Northern Hemisphere.
The North Atlantic right whale has not seen population growth in decades, leaving only 300 individuals left.
Despite their large size, these whale species only eat zooplankton. The blue whale eats 2,000 to 9,000 pounds every single day. But habitat degradation has reduced the amount of zooplankton available to these gentle giants, leaving them with less food.
But it gets worse.
Humans haven’t only destroyed habitats with pollution. They have specifically targeted whales, hunting them for oil between the 17th and 20th centuries. During those centuries, the technology improved and whales were hunted down more than ever before.
And even though whale oil isn’t in demand anymore, whales aren’t safe. In fact, they’re struggling more than ever.
Said Whale Facts: “Today small-scale whale killings are done primarily as a way to obtain the whale’s meat and sell it as food in countries that either loosely monitor commercial whaling practices or by those that use legal loopholes to continue whaling. In some countries, whale meat is even considered a delicacy and may be sold at a premium price.”
Not even the largest animals in the world can escape the wrath of humanity. And that’s one reason that the Abyssian Court has become more active than ever before. It’s time to stop the destruction Humans have caused to the oceans.
Olivia “y05h1eggz” Richman //
Stanion Studios Marketing Copyeditor