30 Threatened Species

Explore the species
In our 30th anniversary year, we highlighted 30 amazing marine species that live in, or visit the seas around, the UK. Some of these will be familiar and some won’t, but they’re all on the IUCN ‘Red List’ of Threatened Species. We asked for your support to raise £30,000 to help us tackle the problems that threaten these wonderful creatures, making sure they are still around in another 30 years.

Angel Shark - Squatina squatina

Status: Critically Endangered … The female gives birth to a fully-developed pup

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Angular Roughshark - Oxynotus centrina

Status: Vulnerable … The adult female gives birth to 10-12 tiny little baby sharks

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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna - Thunnus thynnus

Status: Endangered … The most ambitiously migratory of all fish

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Atlantic Cod - Gadus morhua

Status: Vulnerable … The UK’s best-loved chip shop fish has been battered

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Atlantic Halibut - Hippoglossus hippoglossus

Status: Endagered … The Atlantic halibut swims with its eyeless side facing the sea bed

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Atlantic Puffin - Fratercula Arctica

Population trend: Decreasing … In winter, the puffin’s famously colourful beak becomes dull and grey

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Balearic Shearwater - Puffinus mauretanicus

Status: Critically Endangered … Whilst their one egg is incubating, parents take it in turns to feed at sea

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Basking Shark - Cetorhinus maximus

Status: Vulnerable … The basking shark is the second-largest fish in the world

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Blue Shark - Prionace glauca

Status: Near Threatened … About 20 million blue sharks are caught globally each year

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Bottlenose Dolphin - Tursiops truncatus

Population trend: Unknown … Baby dolphins will remain with their mother for two or three years

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Common Skate - Dipturus batis

Status: Critically Endangered … A Common Skate reaches maturity at 11 years old and, if lucky, may live to be 100

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Eurasian Otter - Lutra lutra

Status: Near Threatened … Otter cubs only open their eyes about five weeks after they are born

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European Eel - Anguilla anguilla

Status: Critically Endangered … The first three years of the European eel’s life are spent drifting in the ocean as larva

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Frilled Shark - Chlamydoselachus anguineus

Status: Near Threatened … A living fossil species, dating back at least 95 million years

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Harbour Porpoise - Phocoena phocoena

Population trend: Unknown … Harbour Porpoise stay close to the surface, breathing frequently with a puffing sound a bit like a sneeze

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Harbour Seal - Phoca vitulina

Status: Least Concern … Extremely shy on land, they will often become playful with humans in the water

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Leatherback Turtle - Dermochelys coriacea

Status: Vulnerable … Only about one in 1,000 Leatherback hatchlings make it to adulthood

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Loggerhead Turtle - Caretta caretta

Status: Endangered … As many as 100 species of animal have been found living on one Loggerhead turtle’s shell

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Long-Snouted Seahorse - Hippocampus guttulatus

Status: Data Deficient … Long-snouted Seahorse have no teeth and hoover up their food, mainly tiny shrimps

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Pink Sea Fan - Eunicella verrucosa

Status: Vulnerable … Pink Sea Fans are a favourite place for catsharks to attach their mermaid’s purse eggcases

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Porbeagle Shark - Lamna nasus

Status: Vulnerable … The Porbeagle Shark is an endothermic shark, maintaining its body temperature above that of the surrounding seawater

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Sei Whale - Balaenoptera borealis

Status: Endangered … The ninth-largest living animal on the planet and yet can swim 35 miles per hour

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Short-Snouted Seahorse - Hippocampus hippocampus

Status: Data Deficient … Its eyes can move independently of one another, allowing it excellent vision

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Sperm Whale - Physeter macrocephalus

Status: Vulnerable … Sperm whales dive up to a kilometre to catch their giant squid prey

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Spiny Dogfish - Squalus acanthias

Status: Vulnerable … Considered to be critically endangered in the NE Atlantic.

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Sturgeon (European) - Acipenser sturio

Status: Critically Endangered … If landed in the UK, the sturgeon is the property of the Queen

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Thresher Shark - Alopias vulpinus

Status: Vulnerable … Thresher Shark stun their prey with a thrash of their long tails

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Tope Shark - Galeorhinus galeus

Status: Vulnerable … The tope shark migrates up to 2,500km from UK waters

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Undulate Ray - Raja undulata

Status: Endangered … Undulate Ray have 40 - 50 rows of teeth in their upper jaw

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Velvet Scoter - Melanitta fusca

Status: Endangered … Populations have declined by 60% since the early 90s

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