Ocean News: ARKive Ocean Species Before They Are Gone…Profiling the Mediterranean monk seal

By January 26, 2012 Ocean News

Today, both our topics are from an organization called ARKive, which is a product of another non-profit organization called Wildscreen. The both organizations are dedicated to provide the public with an understanding and appreciation for the world’s biodiversity and the need for its conservation, through imagery.


The organizations are headed by 2 notable Nature and Ocean Advocates, Sir David Attenborough and Dr. Sylvia Earle, among others. These guys have dedicated their lives to raising awareness of issues in nature and the Ocean.

ARKive came to be when it’s founders realized that there was a vital need to make a better effort to educate the public on endangered species around the world, but they knew that the manner in which the information was communicated had to be entertaining. So they decided to assemble imagery and video of these animals from around the world and put them in one place where people can view them and learn about the animals.

Mediterranean Monk Seal

Now let’s use ARKive to learn about an endangered species that we mentioned in one of this week’s SUFBTV Ocean News episodes…The Mediterranean Monk Seal. This mammal is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. The species was once widespread throughout the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Northwestern coast of Africa; however, it is now restricted to selected parts of the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the Southern Coast of Turkey and other scattered areas along the Western Sahara coast. There are roughly 400 to 500 individuals left of these species. Their major threats are disturbance on beaches, which are now developed for tourism and human use; killed by fishermen because they are perceived to eat all of their fish; entangled in fishing gear; and, death by toxins from eating toxic fish which were in algal blooms.

Proposed conservation measures for the species includes captive bred programs and decreasing human caused death to bring back the population. Some experts do not agree with the captive bred program as they believe it will disrupt the breeding within the wild population. Everyone agrees on something though…Urgent action is needed to save this species.

I want to leave you with the question of the day:

Do you think Captive Bred programs are good for the Monk Seal’s survival?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Remember to share the this video with your family, friends, and network to raise awareness of what is happening in the Ocean around the World!

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • I heard a little about a re-introduction program of the Mediterranean Monk Seal here in the Balearic Islands, Spain unfortunately it was not successful.
    Are there any captive bred programs of other marine mammals around the world that experts could use as an example? To learn from.
    Desperate times call for desperate measures, so maybe a captive bred program would be a good start.
    Then, should this succeed, is the Mediterranean ready to truely protect a species that has been driven close to extinction?
    I would love some info from scientists who have worked with captive bred programs…It would be amazing for the Med if such a program was to succeed, I think it would inspire many more programs here, not just with mammals but with many different marine species.
    Or is it simply too late to save the Med? I dont think so!!

  • […] Mediterranean Monk Seal. This mammal is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. Website Share Tweet Previous postHow To Choose A Web Developer Web Development China Web Next […]

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