Home > Editorial > Petition Seeks Protection for Seals from global warming

Petition Seeks Protection for Seals from global warming

A petition was filed with the National Marine Fisheries Service by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to list ribbon seals as threatened or endangered. The group asserts the need to classify as climate change is brought out by humans resulting vanishing of sea ice

Biologist Shaye Wolf, lead author of the petition, said, “The Arctic is in crisis state from global warming. An entire ecosystem is rapidly melting away and the ribbon seal is poised to become the first victim of our failure to address global warming”.

Animals are to be classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, if they risk extinction due to demolition of their habitat. A species is threatened if it is expected to become endangered. Lack of national legal mechanism regulating greenhouse gases has coerced the organization to turn to the Endangered Species Act, said Attorney Brendan Cummings, ocean program director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Cumming averred that ribbon seals among marine mammals, might be the most dependent on sea ice. He disclosed that rough assessment of ribbon seals is about 240,000 in number. Bering and Chukchi Seas are the areas where ribbon seals live in the water and feed on fish, squid and crustaceans during summer and fall. But ribbon seals rely on loose pack ice from March through June in the Bering and Okhotsk seas for reproduction and molting, and a platform for foraging. Cummings said, “The Arctic is imperiled and it’s not just the polar bear. it’s the entire ecosystem and the ribbon seal is part of that ecosystem”.

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