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Threatened marine species

Target

1.2 No species or habitat types will become extinct or be lost, and the status of threatened and near-threatened species and habitat types will be improved.

Indicator

Number of threatened species in the following major ecosystems: marine and coastal waters, rivers and lakes, wetlands, forest, mountains and cultural landscapes

Are we moving in the right direction? Published by the Norwegian Environment Agency

In all, 357 species associated with marine and coastal waters were red-listed in the 2010 Norwegian Red List for Species, and 45 of these were listed as threatened. This means that they were placed in one of the categories critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. However, well under half of the multicellular organisms found in Norwegian seas have been assessed, and scientists lack sufficient information on population status for many species, particularly invertebrates. If insufficient information is available, species are placed in the category “data deficient”.

The marine species listed as threatened include 8 fish, 8 birds, 4 mammals, 8 molluscs, 3 crustaceans, 2 annelids, 3 vascular plants and 9 species of algae. The overall number of marine species listed as threatened is two higher than in the previous edition of the Red List, which was published in 2006. Several groups of marine organisms were assessed for the first time for the 2006 edition. One species, the North Atlantic right whale, has been listed as regionally extinct since the first edition of Norway’s red list was published in 1998.

There have been both positive and negative developments since 2006. Several fish species are no longer considered to be threatened, either because better information has shown that this is the case, or because steps to improve population status have been successful. On the other hand, new information has shown that the population status of some species is poorer than was previously thought, and they have been reclassified to reflect the higher risk of extinction.