Photo: Credits (clockwise from left): Christopher Michel/Wikimedia Commons, Barry Peters/Wikimedia Commons, Hjalmar Gislason/Wikimedia Commons, user: prilfish/Flickr Creative Commons, JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons
It’s that time of year again: Stores are overflowing with pink and red decorations, jewelry advertisements are everywhere, and people are snatching up heart-shaped boxes of chocolate for their significant others (or themselves… no judgment).
We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the season of love than by highlighting the most amorous ocean animals. So we pulled together some examples of romance in the animal kingdom to get you in the Valentine’s Day spirit.
Whether you’re coupled up or flying solo this Valentines Day, here are five species who are redefining #relationshipgoals.
(And so should you. They keep our ocean and waterways healthy. And taste spectacular too.)
But we haven’t always done right by my favorite shelled creatures. It’s a fact reinforced by a slew of recent reports—plastic trash in the ocean could be hurting baby oysters, said the Washington Post and a new University of Miami study that found that the Atlantic Ocean has absorbed 100 percent more man-made carbon pollution in the past 10 years as it did the previous decade, spelling trouble for marine life and coastal communities.
Ocean acidification is one of those big, scary problems that scientists have been warning us about for years. Carbon emissions are being absorbed by the ocean, turning it more acidic – spelling trouble for oysters, clams, mussels, as well as corals, salmon and even sharks. We know that reducing global carbon emissions is key to solving ocean acidification. The UN Climate Meeting in December was a resounding success, but what can people and states do, today, that will make a difference to their communities and businesses impacted by acidification? Turns out, quite a lot.
We’re making a very big deal about very little fish on the U.S. West Coast—and we hope you’ll do the same! These little fish, called forage fish, are crucial to the overall health of the marine ecosystem of the Pacific Ocean. These fish are important for the survival of seabirds, marine mammals, and bigger fish like salmon, halibut and tuna.
Federal fishery managers are considering a proposed rule to protect seven groups of forage fish species in federal waters off the U.S. West Coast. This action would culminate a years-long process in which environmental organizations, fishery managers and ocean lovers have voiced support for safeguarding forage fish because of their importance to a healthy ocean.
This New Year’s Day, I’m raising a toast in celebration of increased protection for 160,000 square miles of ocean surrounding Alaska’s windswept and ecologically rich Aleutian Islands that go into effect today.
Thousands of ships – some of which are carrying hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic fuel – that ply this busy segment of the Great Circle Trade Route will now have to maintain a distance of 50 miles from the shoreline surrounding the Aleutian Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Defined as Areas To Be Avoided (ATBA), this newly enacted protection will buffer the Alaskan archipelago’s most sensitive coastal areas against pollution, noise and accidents.
This has been a landmark year for the ocean. The tireless work of ocean advocates—like you—has resulted in a series of victories moving us towards a cleaner, healthier ocean for the communities and animals that depend on it. Here at Ocean Conservancy, we’ve had quite a busy year, and we’re proud to have played our part in working towards a better ocean.