Being a beach lover does not only involve spending your days on the beach soaking up some rays. Being a beach lover means loving the beach, the sea, and being respectful to nature, who has provided us with such beauty. And marine life is as essential part of this ecosystem. Over fishing, climate change and pollution are all taking their toll, adding pressure on the delicate balance of marine life so this year we‘ve teamed with WWF in an effort to raise awareness of 3 endangered marine species, that are local to our beloved Mediterranean Sea, the Seahorse, the Lobster, and the Tuna!

1. Hippocampus ramulosus or commonly known as the long-snouted seahorse.

This beautiful creature may only be 12cm long, but is absolutely fascinating. Its body is slender, the snout is long and the tail is prehensile. The eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean is its home, from the southern parts of the UK all the way to Morocco and the Mediterranean Sea. It prefers the shallow coastal waters and chooses to reside close to Posidonia and eelgrass meadows. Although you wouldn’t have guessed it but this long-snouted seahorse is actually carnivorous and feeds on small crustaceans and fish eggs. Interestingly, it is also the male seahorse who broods the eggs. The seahorse is not only rare, but is now considered endangered, as it is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, with an estimated 150 million seahorses being traded annually for this purpose only.

 

2. The Lobster

Lobsters can be found in all oceans, and live in rocky, sandy, or muddy environments, and prefer crevices or burrows under rocks .They are omnivores and typically eat live prey. They are usually 25–50 cm long, and have 10 walking legs, of which the front three pairs bear claws.
Distinctive characteristic of the lobster is the antennas, which are mainly used as sensors to explore and communicate. Interestingly enough, they are also used in their mating call, along with their claws.
Lobsters are considered a culinary delicacy and, although not in the threatened categories of the IUCN red List yet, over fishing has put this crustacean in the danger.

 

3. The Tuna

The tuna is an remarkable animal. Some types can reach 10m in length and weigh as much as 250kg, and their torpedo-shaped body and special swimming muscles enables them to swim with impressive speed. These extraordinary marine animals are also one of the most commercially valuable fish, and it is this commercial importance that has led to severe overfishing. Some types of tuna, namely the Bluefin, Bigeye, Albacore, and Yellowfin, are now on the endangered, vulnerable or nearly threatened category in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and most importantly, the Mediterranean Bluefin tuna is at high risk of extinction.



The removal of a species may have serious and unpredictable consequences to its ecosystem, and the effects, although may not be noticeable to start with, can eventually be detrimental to nature. So this summer remember to be kind to the sea, protect its fauna and enjoy it respectfully.