Oceans

Our oceans are majestic, home to millions of awe-inspiring creatures, and are part of the cultural heritage of millions of coastal peoples in Canada and worldwide. Life on our blue planet depends on healthy oceans, but scientists are sounding the alarm that sea life could face the next mass extinction. Next to climate change, overfishing is the single greatest threat to marine biodiversity. Industrial fishing has drastically reduced populations of ocean life, and a growing demand for fish is causing an already out of control industry to hunt sea life faster than they can repopulate, while ramping up fish farming operations, and further threatening delicate marine ecosystems. Pollution, like plastic and harmful chemicals, is leaving no corners of our oceans untouched and is infiltrating marine food chains. Urgent action is needed to protect marine life, large and small, to support people who live by the ocean and rely on it for their livelihoods, and to allow our oceans to recover and flourish. Greenpeace is pushing for solutions to the problems facing ocean life. Join us.

Plastic

Plastic pollution

A garbage truck worth of plastic enters our oceans every minute. Ocean life is literally drowning in plastic pollution. Plastic is consuming coastal habitats, seafloor habitats and marine ecosystems, while plastic consumption continues to rise. From tiny microbeads to plastic bags to food and product packaging, our daily reliance, use and disposal of plastic is out of control. Single use plastics like bottles, straws, coffee cups, bags and containers are a huge part of the problem. They are the result of a prolific culture of convenience that is common in many societies around the globe. Purchasing a product for short-term use and then throwing it away has become almost second nature, but plastic does not really go away and a huge proportion of it is ending up in actual nature – in our oceans and the stomachs of wildlife. We need to cut our plastic addition, ban single use plastics, and demand that the companies accept responsibility for their role in the plastic crisis. Avoiding plastic is challenging because few companies offer alternatives and instead fuel the addiction. It wasn’t that long ago that our lives were not so dependent on throwaway plastics. Together we can refuse, reduce, reuse and #BreakFreeFromPlastic.

 

Tuna

Changing Tuna

The global fishing industry is out of control. Tuna populations and other threatened marine animals like turtles, sharks and seabirds have suffered devastating declines because of overfishing, illegal fishing and harmful fishing practices. Labour and human rights concerns also plague the industry, as workers work in sometimes deadly conditions. Buyers and sellers of canned tuna have a role to play in creating a more sustainable and socially responsible industry from sea to plate. Greenpeace has worked in Canada and globally to urge companies to source only responsibly-caught tuna, to expose brands unwilling to change their destructive ways, and to urge companies to be part of a broader ocean protection movement. Greenpeace has ranked well-known brands and has created a shopping guide to help those choosing to buy tuna to make more responsible choices. Positive change is happening on supermarket shelves but we all must hold companies accountable to ensure only responsibly-caught tuna is sourced and sold in the Canadian market. Check out our Tuna Guide for Healthier Oceans to share with tuna lovers you know and demand your supermarket green their tuna aisles!

 

Ocean life

Protecting ocean life

Life started in our oceans and they are still home to some of the planet's longest living and even prehistoric creatures. There is so much beauty in ocean life, with weird and wonderful plants and animals that create unique and complex ecosystems that contribute to the biological diversity of planet ocean. Ocean ecosystems also regulate other systems on earth like our climate and without healthy ocean life, those systems are becoming out of whack. With growing threats to ocean habitats and life it is even more important to not only strive to interact with our oceans in a more sustainable way, but to set aside large areas to allow recovery, rebuilding, resilience and simply ocean life business as usual without exploitation. Greenpeace is calling for 40 per cent of the world’s oceans to be set aside in sanctuaries, urging industry and government to do their part to make this a reality in Canada and on the high seas. We are also working to hold governments accountable to their promises to ensure the recovery of our at-risk species, we are working with coastal and Indigenous communities to ensure their rights are respected and ocean-dependent way of life can continue, and we are stopping destructive industries from threatening our coasts. Learn more about various projects we are working on or supporting in our blogs below.

 

The latest updates

 

Do ocean sanctuaries really work?

Blog entry by Greenpeace Canada | January 25, 2018

Our oceans are massive and unlike most places on land, they don’t really have borders. Animals, water (and sadly now plastic) all move freely across the globe. So it begs the question: does creating a protected area really work?   ...

March of the penguins

Blog entry by Akshey Kalra | January 15, 2018

This morning, people around the world are waking up to pictures of penguin sightings across the globe. The penguins have been spotted travelling on trains, arriving at international airports and at iconic landmarks. From Sydney to...

Setting Sail to protect the Antarctic

Blog entry by Will McCallum | January 15, 2018

As I write this the Arctic Sunrise, one of Greenpeace’s ships, is sailing south.  For the next three months its crew will be working alongside a team of campaigners, photographers, film-makers, scientists and journalists from across...

5 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Antarctic

Blog entry by Samantha Wockner | January 8, 2018

In 2017 we launched a campaign to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary – the largest protected area on Earth. But why? Well, apart from being home to amazing animals such as penguins, whales and seals. The Antarctic plays an important...

My week on a plastic beach helping to name and shame its polluters

Blog entry by Sarah King, Senior oceans strategist | October 4, 2017

It was more devastating than I imagined, and that’s saying something considering the descriptions and pictures I’ve been exposed to over the years. The plastic pollution covering Freedom Island in Metro Manila, Philippines is...

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