The Sargasso Sea supports a range of endemic species and plays a critical role in supporting the life cycle of a number of threatened and endangered species such as the Porbeagle shark, the American and the European eel, as well as billfish, tuna and several species of turtle, migratory birds and cetaceans.The Sargassum mats are home to many endemic species and provide a protective ‘nursery’ for juvenile fish and turtles.
There is emerging recognition of the crucial role it plays in the wider ecosystem ranging from the Atlantic to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Real and potential threats to the Sargasso Sea include:
Adverse impacts from ships and shipping including underwater noise, damage to Sargassum mats, chemical discharges and ballast water exchange;
Pollution from floating debris including plastics;
Overfishing and the negative impacts of fishing including by-catch and habitat damage;