Ocean plastic pollution is expected to grow fourfold by 2050, and by 2100 there could be 50 times more microplastics. Many species are being pushed to the brink of extinction, with 88% of marine species negatively impacted by plastic pollution. It’s estimated that up to 90% of seabirds and over 50% of sea turtles ingest plastic.
We would expect that a huge, charismatic, and ecologically important predator would be celebrated in its own right. Especially if it is also endangered, has evolved some extreme physiological and behavioural adaptations to enable it to excel as one of the oceans’ top predators; this fish even hunts in coordinated packs much like a pride of lions.
These animals are at the top of the marine food chain. They are important keystone predators that can help structure marine ecosystems. Their role as predators can even help with carbon dynamics, keeping carbon locked up in marine sediments, or by controlling the amount of respiring biomass in our seas.