NOAA Fisheries announced today a new Species in the Spotlight campaign to focus recovery and public education efforts on eight marine species that are at risk of extinction.
The eight species highlighted, all listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, are:
- the Gulf of Maine population of Atlantic salmon
- Central California Coast coho salmon
- Cook Inlet beluga whales
- Hawaiian monk seals
- Pacific leatherback sea turtles
- Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon
- Southern Resident killer whales in Puget Sound
- California Coast white abalone.
“Of all the species NOAA protects under the ESA, these eight species are among the most at risk of extinction in the near future,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “For some of these species, their numbers are so low that they need to be bred in captivity. Others are facing human threats that must be addressed. If we act now with renewed commitment and intensified efforts, we can help these species survive and thrive.”
Throughout the Species in the Spotlight campaign, which lasts through next May 2016, NOAA Fisheries will engage public and private sector partners in collaborative actions to spur recovery for these species. Guiding the effort will be a detailed five year action plan for each species, which will be available in September 2015.
“Our goal is to focus NOAA Fisheries’ recovery actions, and motivate partners and interested citizens to work with us to prevent the extinction of these eight species,” said Sobeck. “Our work to reverse declining populations, protect habitat, and recover vulnerable species ensures diverse and resilient ocean ecosystems for future generations.”
While this campaign brings additional awareness to these eight species, it also illustrates NOAA Fisheries’ comprehensive approach to the conservation and recovery of all threatened and endangered marine species.
As the Endangered Species Act enters its fifth decade, NOAA Fisheries continues to protect and recover all species we are responsible for in coordination with our federal, state, tribal and local partners. The biennial Recovering Threatened and Endangered Species FY 2013-2014. Report to Congress, also released today, summarizes NOAA Fisheries’ efforts to recover all threatened and endangered marine species in the United States.
To learn more about NOAA Fisheries’ ongoing protected resources program, visit Protecting Marine Life.