by “Gigi The Animal Lover”, Athena’s Student
Save The Otters! by “Gigi The Animal Lover,” one of Athena’s students, for Athena’s Marine Biology course!
Otters are amazing animals. Back in the day, otters were endangered, and they still are, just less endangered. People would hunt and kill them for their fur, now other things threaten them and they need your help to protect them.
First of all, make sure not to hunt otters or support places that still do. This is a direct threat to otters and is not good for the ocean. Plastic is also a problem, it takes up space in their homes and is not good if they swallow it. Another dilemma is urchin and kelp farming. Otters eat urchins for food.
If otters go away, the urchins will take over and destroy kelp forests. Otters need kelp forests for shelter and food, it’s kind of a circle. Urchins eat kelp, otters eat urchins, kelp provides a home and food for otters and other animals. If otters go away, the food chain will be way out of whack.
Last of all, is bycatch. Bycatch is when fisheries catch too many organisms that it takes away from the animals that feed on them. For instance, a net that trails on the bottom might catch urchins and take away from the otters’ food. They could also catch otters and end up hurting them. So, the next time you get seafood, make sure your fisheries are MSC certified. MSC is an organization that supports fisheries who fish responsibly and stand up against bycatch.
Now that you know what to do, you can help these furry creatures. While you’re at it, you’ll also be doing a deed for the rest of the ocean.
Now go, Save The Otters!
Feel free to leave comments of encouragement!