A new study from Monteray Bay Aquarium has once again highlighted the importance of sea otters for the health of the Kelp forests

These kelp forests have an essential little helper for its survival. It has become clear that sea otters are essential members of communities of the kelp forests off the coast of California. Sea weed, which includes Kelp, locks away around 200 million tonnes of carbon each year and so are an essential part of the fight against global warming.

Over the period between 1901 and 2016, the growth of coverage of Kelp in these waters occurred only in waters where the sea otter survived (they were almost hunted to extinction for their fur in the 1800s.

Their effect, in the parts of the forest that they live are so great, that their favourable effect on kelp largely made up for their loss elsewhere (in terms of quantity of kelp). The study also showed that warming waters is also a threat, and may well prove to be the biggest problem in the future.

These kelp forests are found throughout the world, and the video below, shows another kelp forests in the waters of the UK

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