Sadly, many marine species are fighting for survival due to human interference. Poaching, climate change, pollution, oil spills, boat collisions and bycatch are all man-made issues that are pushing our marine wildlife to the brink of extinction. Our oceans and aquatic species are crucial to the planet’s complex web of life, and the disappearance of even a single species can severely affect the whole ecosystem. In short, the world needs our sea life to survive.

We have identified the world’s most endangered marine species. For more information on the world’s most endangered species and how to protect our wildlife, visit the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

6. Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus)

As the only penguin species found north of the equator and in the Galapagos Islands, this penguin is quite unique. It’s the smallest of the South American penguin species, and generally survive for 15 to 20 years in the wild. They are one of the few animals in the world that mate with one partner for life. The Galapagos penguin is an endangered species, with less than 2,000 left in the wild. They’re numbers are severely declining due to warming sea temperatures and declining food sources, brought on by El Nino Southern Oscillations (an irregular variation in winds and sea surface temperatures).

They are also threatened by introduced species such as dogs and cats, pollution and bycatch in fishing equipment. The Galapagos fur seal is another fascinating marine species that’s endemic to the Galapagos Islands. With a declining population of around 10,000 to 15,000, the fur seal is also classified as endangered by the IUCN.