"WASHINGTON -- Environmentalists on Monday filed a petition with the U.S. government requesting regulatory safeguards for 81 particularly vulnerable marine wildlife species, from corals to sharks."
"According to WildEarth Guardians, a conservation watchdog, U.S. officials have failed to protect ocean-dwelling species at anywhere near the rate received by animals that live on land, despite legislative and executive mandates to do so. More importantly, the group suggests, the relevant science does not support such a disparity.
For decades the United States has had federal legislation, known as the Endangered Species Act (ESA), in place to offer protections to those plants and animals officially deemed in danger of extinction. According to figures provided by WildEarth Guardians, the ESA has officially protected 2,097 species since its enactment in 1973."